August Bird Reports

082409: Neil Maruca reports: Meadowlands Highlights: Long-billed Dowitcher, Short-billed Dowitcher, Solitary Sandpiper, Yellow-crowned Night Heron

   In The Kingsland Impoundment at DeKorte Park on Sunday, there were 17 Dowitchers, 67 yellowlegs and 3 Solitary Sandpipers viewable from the parking lot , in addition to 100+ Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. The Dowitcher breakdown was 14 Short-billed (Atlantic subspecies), 1 Short Billed (Prairie Subspecies) and 2 Long-billed. The Yellowleg breakdown was
55 Lesser to 12 Greater, Solitary were in with the Lessers.

The Yellow Crown night heron was an adult, found in the marshes on the Secaucus bank of the Hackensack River, which had good shorebird counts also (60+ Semipalmated Plovers, 250+ Peep, 2 Solitary Sandpipers, both Yellowlegs). Had a candidate for a Baird's sandpiper (20% larger than the larger Semipalmateds, black legs, buffy/peach breast) but I lost sight of it in the reeds before I could confirm the wing extension and feather pattern on the back. 🙁

   (Thanks, Neil!)

Click "Continue reading…" for more August reports.

081709: Neil Maruca reports: Highlights:  Purple Martin, Peregrine.

    Visited the Clay Ave. wetland, Anderson Creek Marsh, Laurel Hill, and Kearny Marsh Sunday morning. The expected birds were present, nothing tremendously unusual seen.  Semipalmated Sandpipers and both Yellowlegs were seen at every stop.

   Anderson Creek had the Purple Martin and the Peregrine, plus 50+ Semipalmated Plovers, a good count for North Jersey.

081609: Michael Britt reports: Went birding with Mike Hiotis from 10:30AM-3PM on Saturday.  We did about an hour at Mill Creek Marsh and then birded DeKorte from about 12-3PM. Highlights included an immature Little Blue Heron at Mill Creek Marsh and a female Ruddy with several young in the shorebird pool at DeKorte.

Mill Creek Marsh:
Semipalmated Sandpiper (500)
Least Sandpipers (few)
Greater Yellowlegs (1)
Lesser Yellowlegs (1)
Semipalmated Plover (3)
Little Blue Heron (Imm)
Snowy Egret
Great Egret

Notes: Lots of good margin habitat here for Buff-breasted Sandpiper…worth a focused check late August thru the first third of September.

Caspian Tern (8)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (5000)
Least Sandpipers
SB Dowitcher (30+)
Lesser Yellowlegs (42+)
Greater Yellowlegs (several)
Great Egret (49)
Snowy Egret (24+)
Great Blue Heron (8-10)

Notes: We found the Caspians around 1230PM…they were in the large mixed flock of gulls and cormorants…the best place to view them from is the wooden bridge…which is a left turn at the T-intersect along the powerlines.  You cannot see the Caspians on the mud here from the Transco trail…it is too far away and the heat waves would prevent it. I invariably find the Caspians loafing out here…I have yet to see one flying around the impoundment. The species is regular here this time of year, although this is my best count to date.

081109: Don Torino reports from Mill Creek Marsh: "The Peeps were amazing at Mill Creek this morning! In the thousands!

   They covered the mudflats and banks where ever you looked, mostly Semi, did have some least. Everyone should get out there and enjoy the spectacle!

081009: Neil Maruca reports from Mill Creek Marsh and Anderson Creek Marsh in Secaucus from yesterday: "Highlights were 5 Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Peregrine

"Mill Creek Marsh continued to host the immature cattle egret previously reported by Kevin Bolton, as well as a Peregrine Falcon and 750+ Semipalmated Sandpiper."

 (Note: Click here to see Kevin Bolton's Cattle Egret photo.)

Neil continues: "I had 2 sightings of Yellow Crowned night herons on the Hackensack River waterfront in Secaucus: 2 immatures were standing with some mallards on the docks behind the Extended Stay America hotel on Meadowlands Pkwy. Anderson Creek Marsh south of the Harmon Meadow Towers held another pair of immatures Yellow Crowns and an adult. Other birds at Anderson Creek Marsh were 3000+ Semipalmated Sandpipers, 12 Semipalmated Plowers and Osprey.

080209: Neil Maruca reports that over the weekend he had Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Clapper Rail and (non-avian highlight) Red Fox.

   "Started early at Mill Creek Marsh, arriving around dawn, an hour before high tide. As expected, in August at high tide there were large numbers of shorebirds were concentrated in the 2 impoundments that make up the 'forest of petrified stumps.' Peeps were packed shoulder to shoulder on the stumps which provide 'high ground" during high tides.

    Early in the day I had 5 wader species (Great/Snowy Egret, Great Blue/Green/BC Night Heron) all in sight at the same from the walking bridge nearest to the entrance. The BC Night Heron had just caught a 15" eel, and was puzzling out how to turn it around to swallow, without letting the other surrounding herons get a chance at stealing it.

   Click "Continue reading…" for Neal's full report.

   I was trying to get a good count on the "peeps," tricky since they were moving around, but there were a minimum of 800 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 50 Leasts on the flats and the stumps.

   Unexpected finds while scoping through the flocks were a Stilt Sandpiper and a Pectoral Sandpiper. Other shorebirds included Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plovers, & both yellowlegs. Clapper Rail was calling from the sawgrass.

  While I was examining a shorebird flock on a beach, spotted a Red Fox sunning himself and looking very content, he stayed in view for over 20 minutes until I moved on, not at all worried that I was on the opposite bank, about 100 feet away. Urban wildlife viewing continues to amaze me, startling to be among that much nature while looking at the empire state building just a couple miles away, and while standing a stones throw from a Walmart and the turnpike.

Species List:Canada Goose 18, Mallard 40, Great Blue Heron 4, Great Egret 7, Snowy Egret 8, Green Heron 2, Black-crowned Night-Heron 1, Clapper Rail 1, Semipalmated Plover 3, Spotted Sandpiper 7, Greater Yellowlegs 7, Lesser Yellowlegs 5, Semipalmated Sandpiper 800, Least Sandpiper 50, Pectoral Sandpiper 1, Stilt Sandpiper 1, Ring-billed Gull 35, Great Black-backed Gull 1, Forster's Tern 4, Rock Pigeon 4, Red-bellied Woodpecker 1, Willow Flycatcher 3, Least Flycatcher 1, Eastern Kingbird 1, Tree Swallow 1, Barn Swallow 3, Marsh Wren 9, American Robin 1, Northern Mockingbird 4, European Starling 50, Cedar Waxwing 8, Yellow Warbler 1, Song Sparrow 10, Northern Cardinal 2, Indigo Bunting 3, Red-winged Blackbird 7, Common Grackle 1, Brown-headed Cowbird 6, House Finch 1, American Goldfinch 7

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