Thursday, November 15, 2007

Birds around Goshen, news from the point, and Delaware Atlas

Pete Dunne and I had to run an errand this afternoon, and walking out the door of the Center for Research and Education in Goshen, Pete remarked, "There sure are a lot more birds around here than there used to be." He meant, when the center first opened, before the wildlife gardens became established and the habitat had a chance to otherwise grow up.

I actually haven't had time to go looking for birds, though I did go on an owl chase a couple days ago when some jays began mobbing something so vocally I could hear them through my office window. Hermit Thrushes and Red-breasted Nuthatches were also upset, but though I checked the cedars carefully, I came up owl-less. I noticed several Field Sparrows during the search, and heard Purple Finches and one Pine Siskin overhead.

Just up the road on this afternoon that speaks "November" with its spitting rain and strong winds (guess this could be the end of the leaves, finally), a flock of Wild Turkeys foraged in a yard, a more and more common sight every year.

Last night I was up Delaware way, to speak at the Delaware Ornithological Society's meeting at the Ashland Nature Center, where this year an inaugural and very successful hawk watch has been conducted. A very fun and focused group of people. I learned that Delaware will begin its second Breeding Bird Atlas next year - when details become available I will post them here. I know I hope to take a block or too, atlassing is some of the most fun birding you can do. It adds a dimension - behavior watching to determine nesting status, and takes you to places that are often never birded otherwise, so discoveries are frequent.

This weekend it will finally be back to birding for me with Island Beach on both Friday and Saturday and CMBO's field trip, "Birding Cumberland," which Karen Johnson will co-lead with me on Sunday. Migrant waterfowl, raptors and passerines will be on the menu for that trip, which runs from 9 to 4. There are still a couple spaces available, call CMBO at 609.861.0700 to learn more or sign up.

Karl & Judy Lukens sent this report from Cape May Point from Wednesday's CMBO walk: "Nice show of sea birds at the start of this morning's walk; 77-100 close Gannets, Royal, and Forster's Terns, as well as flocks of off shore scoters and cormorants. Five snow buntings with a flock of Am. Pipits on the beach. A good variety of ducks in Bunker & Lighthouse Ponds, and Lily Lake. The Eurasian Wigeon is still hanging out with the American Wigeons on Lily Lake." Karl et. al.'s full list is below.

11/14/2007 ~ in Cape May Point ~ New Jersey Checklist ~ 59 seen

Red-throated Loon 5
Common Loon 1
Pied-billed Grebe 3
Northern Gannet 75
Double-crested Cormorant 50
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 1
Mute Swan 10
Canada Goose 10
Eurasian Wigeon 1
American Wigeon 50
Gadwall 10
Green-winged Teal 100
Mallard 20
Northern Shoveler 10
Black Scoter 20
Hooded Merganser 1
Ruddy Duck 15
Turkey Vulture 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3
Cooper's Hawk 1
Sanderling 30
Ring-billed Gull 5
Great Black-backed Gull 100
American Herring Gull 20
Laughing Gull 2
Forster's Tern 15
Royal Tern 10
Rock Pigeon 30
Mourning Dove 10
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Tree Swallow 10
American Pipit 25
Golden-crowned Kinglet 5
Carolina Wren 2
Winter Wren 1
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 3
Eastern Bluebird 1
American Robin 30
Carolina Chickadee 5
Red-breasted Nuthatch 5
Blue Jay 5
American Crow x
European Starling 50
House Sparrow 20
House Finch 10
American Goldfinch 15
Yellow-rumped Warbler 10
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 4
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 5
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Snow Bunting 5
Northern Cardinal 5
Red-winged Blackbird 5

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