Monday, November 23, 2009

Swainson's Day 17, A (nother) Northeaster, and Common Eider Highs

The long-staying Swainson's Hawk was seen today over Sunset Avenue, making day 17 for this bird, which apparently arrived November 7. That was the only bird report I heard about today, other than the adult Bald Eagle, 10 Northern Harriers, and kinglets, creepers, and sparrows I had on Jake's Landing Road before work. The dearth of birding, and bird reports, is not surprising given that we're immersed in another northeaster. It looks like some sort of a front will clear out the junk for the weekend, but I'm suddenly struck by the thought that the weather will be making much less difference on what birds are around for the next couple months, only on how easy or hard it will be to find them.

If I was free to bird in the next few days, I would look at the ocean - check our counters' View from the Field for details on what's being seen from the seawatch, and the hawk watch, too, the latter of which ends November 30.

[Single location high counts of Common Eiders are being one-upped throughout the state on a regular basis. I think the NJ high is 217, at Barnegat Light. The Cape Island high is 163, recorded by Doug Gochfeld on Saturday. This photo, taken that day, contains 102 of them if I counted right - some of the birds pictured are scoters. This is an unprecedented phenomenon.]

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