Another Wheatear was seen in Connecticut for a week recently, and Garret Mountain had one for six hours last year. The DeKorte Wheatear is an immature bird; the Connecticut Wheatear, we are told, was an adult.
"Wheatear" is derived from either the Scottish, Norse or Old English phrase "white arse," which the bird displays in flight and occasionally when bobbing (left), which it likes to do now and again.
The bird was first seen by Pat Clark of Montclair on Monday, who mentioned it Pete Bacinski of NJ Audubon's Sandy Hook Bird Observatory. He passed along the information, and New Jersey Meadowlands Commission staffers photographed what they thought was a likely candidate.
The sighting was confirmed Tuesday Evening and posted immediately on this blog as well as the Jersey Birds e-mail alert list.
A steady stream of birders has been visiting (and photographing) the Wheatear since 6:45 a.m. Wednesdat morning. Chris Takacs got this neat shot (above) of the Wheatear with its favorite meal.
The bird is likely from Greenland, northern Canada or Alaska, en route to its wintering grounds in Africa. It is also a frequent vistor to England.
A very informative newspaper article from England is here.
Alas, the bird could leave at any time.