Carole Hughes led an All Things Bird/Sandy Hook trip to DeKorte yesterday (Saturday). Highlights included the Goldeneye, at least two Bald Eagles, White-crowned Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Wilson's Snipe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Canvasback and other ducks.
Full report follows. (Thanks, Carole!)
I led a trip this morning for Sandy Hook/All Things Bird at DeKorte
Environmental Center. Credit to the very hardy participants as it was
definitely blustery and cold. Parts of the impoundments were frozen over when we arrived although it opened up as the tide came in. Some highlights from the trip:
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet continues on the Saw Mill Creek trail. The bird was uncooperative at first in the cold but popped up and showed its crown. From the Transco trail had two separate groups of Canvasbacks, one in the back center of the Sawmill Creek flats and one closer to the turnpike.
Good numbers of Black Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, Bufflehead, Northern Pintails. Several fly-over Common Mergansers. Nothing out of the ordinary in the gull department.
Mid-morning the raptors started to come up. We had an almost adult Bald Eagle fly over us on the Marsh Discovery trail. Head was mostly white but the tail was still pretty dark. We spotted multiple Red-tailed Hawks and Northern
Harriers from the Transco Trail, the Discovery trail and Valley Brook. Hard to
tell on the Red-tailed count because we probably were seeing some of the birds multiple times but if I had to guess I would say we had at least 7 or more
different Red-taileds and 4 or more Northern Harriers.
Walked up along Valley Brook Avenue where we had a second Bald Eagle – this one probably first or second year. Other birders reported a third BE as well.
There were three White-crowned Sparrows just inside the first gate past the
railroad tracks. They were with a groups of Song Sparrows and a couple American Tree Sparrows. We had 6 more American Tree Sparrows around the entrance to the ball field. A Wilson's Snipe flew by and gave the group pretty good looks as it circled around.
Walking back, a Sharp-shinned Hawk was spotted landing in the shrubbery up the hill from the gate leading to Disposal Road. We were able to get good looks at the bird in the scopes.
After the group broke up, we ran into one participant who also had American
Wigeons from the Saw Mill Creek trail. While trying to find the wigeons, we
refound the female Common Goldeneye reported a few days back. She was in the Saw Mill Creek Mudflats in a loose group of Gadwall, Black Ducks and