Sightings 2019

NOTE: All photos are copyrighted by the photographer & may not be used or reprinted without their permission.

12/26 (Allamuchy Twp, Warren Co) Charlie Fineran  – had a Northern Harrier near his home.

12/23 (Frankford Twp) Donna and Don Traylor – had a Great Horned Owl calling in the yard.

12/19 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – The last sighting of the male Eastern Towhee in the yard was on 12/18.

12/17 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – The male Eastern Towhee was seen for the Christmas Bird Count. We have had a Cooper’s Hawk hunting in the yard.12-17-19 Towhee a

12/7 (Sussex Co sites) Karyn Cichocki – Culvers Lake had a few Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, Mallards, and about 20 Hooded Mergansers. An adult Bald Eagle was sitting near the nest at Little Swartswood Lake. Swartswood Lake had a few Buffleheads, a Belted Kingfisher, & at least 50 Hooded Mergansers near the Boat House Restaurant. The male Eastern Towhee is still in the yard.

12/2 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had 5 Chipping Sparrows, a male Eastern Bluebird, up to 3 American Goldfinches, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker & Yellow-rumped Warblers calling, at least 15 House Finches, and a male Eastern Towhee. Other yard birds: Song, White-crowned, & White-throated Sparrows, 2 pairs of Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatch, European Starling, Mourning Dove, Downy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and an occasional House Sparrow.12-2-19 Towhee f (002)

11/27 (Sussex Co sites) Karyn Cichocki – There was an adult Bald Eagle sitting in the tree and five Common Mergansers on the pond on Rt 519 in Hampton Township just south of Augusta Hill Rd. At the Sussex Co. Homestead, there were about 300 Canada Geese, one Snow Goose, and a Belted Kingfisher in a tree along the pond shore that was being harassed by a Blue Jay. Culvers Lake – there was a Common Loon, 30+ Buffleheads, and 50+ Ring-necked Ducks. In the yard, we had a single White-crowned Sparrow and Yellow-rumped Warbler.

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11/22 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker calling from a neighbor’s yard & her first White-crowned Sparrow of the season.

11/9 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek- We had Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, White-breasted Nuthatches, American Goldfinches, a Downy Woodpecker, several Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, and our first Dark-eyed Junco of the year.

11/9 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – We had American Robins, European Starlings, & an Eastern Phoebe at the bird bath. On the front lawn we had the returning flock of 15 Chipping Sparrows.

11/2 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek – had 1 Black-capped Chickadee, 2 White-breasted Nuthatches, and 1 House Finch. In a tree across from our home was 1 Cooper’s Hawk.  At least 2 Cedar Waxwings with several American Robins were also seen.

10/29 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – In the yard: American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, White-throated Sparrows, Northern Mockingbird, many Cedar Waxwings, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, House Finches, White-breasted Nuthatches, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, Downy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a Northern Flicker, and at least 18 Chipping Sparrows feeding on the front lawn.

10/24 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – We had our first Dark-eyed Junco of the season in the yard today and a Cooper’s Hawk has been hunting the in the yard.

10/23 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – We have flocks of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings flying around the yard, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jay, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and a White-throated Sparrow.

10/16 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – There were about 10 Red-winged Blackbirds, 20 American Robins, and 15 European Starlings up in the tops of the trees. There were also about 10 Yellow-rumped Warblers, joined by a Ruby Crowned Kinglet, several Tufted Titmice, and Black-capped Chickadees; also heard our first White-throated Sparrow singing for the season.

10/13 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had Red-winged Blackbirds calling, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and today we had an American Robin at the bird bath. Also had Red-bellied & Downy Woodpeckers. There was a female Merlin sitting on the pole that is in the middle of the field near the corner of Decker & Snover Roads.

10/7 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – Had Yellow-rumped Warblers, a group of Chipping Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, a single female American Goldfinch, and Gray Catbirds. Sunday afternoon, there was a male American Kestrel sitting on a wire on Meadows Road just north of Route 15.

10/7 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek – A Cooper’s Hawk (per description in Peterson and Stokes bird guides) was observed in coniferous tree near feeder in our backyard.

10/5 (Andover Twp) Deborah Bifulco – I had to do a double take when I glanced out the window and saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at my one remaining feeder. She appeared to have some sort of injury to her left eye, but looked to be healthy otherwise. She had a long drink at the feeder then made the rounds of the flowers in the garden.DSC_6058

10/3 (Andover Twp) Deborah Bifulco – Saw her first White-throated Sparrow of the season. She still has a pair Northern Cardinals feeding fledglings.N. Cardinal feeding fledgling

10/2 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek – Had Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, and the occasional accipiter (not sure which). The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are gone. There are Black and Turkey Vultures circling around the sky daily.

9/30 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki- had Yellow-rumped, Blackburnian, & Black-throated Green Warblers, plus American Redstart, Blue-headed Vireo, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatches, and one of the Empidonax flycatchers, which was flying and, without hearing a call, I’m not good at getting an id on them. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds left a week ago Sunday, but we still have the Gray Catbirds. Has had very few birds at either the seed or suet feeders.

9/28 (Andover Twp) Deborah Bifulco – In her yard, had a Blue Headed Vireo, a female Black-throated Blue Warbler, several young American Redstarts, both adult and juvenile Scartlet Tanagers, & a pair of Northern Cardinals still feeding two youngsters. Still seeing a lot of monarchs; also had both ladies (painted and American), Horace’s duskywing, silver-spotted skipper, giant and eastern tiger swallowtails, red admirals, red-spotted admirals, eastern comma, question marks, and a great spangled fritillary.

9/22 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had flocks of Cedar Waxwings and a female Northern Cardinal with a male fledgling begging to be fed.

9/19 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had a Brown Thrasher, flocks of American Robins, Cedar Waxwings and a Gray-cheeked Thrush feeding on the dogwood berries. Also had a giant swallowtail butterfly feeding on the Lantana flowers.

9/16 (Andover Twp) Deborah Bifulco – had a yard-first pair of Cape May Warblers.

9/13 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had a Great Crested Flycatcher, two Brown Thrashers, and several Blue Jays in the yard.

9/13 (Andover Twp) Deborah Bifulco – had in the yard: juvenile House Finches and American Goldfinches, a late brood of Tufted Titmice, Ovenbird, Black-throated Green (probably a half dozen), American Redstart – both females and juveniles, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Chestnut sided Warbler, and between 2-4 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds each day. I’ve also had a great assortment of butterflies in my pollinator garden.

9/13 (Wawayanda State Park) Russ Edwards had two Common Ravens.

9/10 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – yard birds: Red-eyed Vireo (still singing), Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Bluebird, and a family of four Carolina Wrens.

9/9 (Sparta Twp) Alice Piatek had a Bald Eagle on Glen Rd. attempting to take a small carcass.

9/9 (Wallkill River NWR) Karyn Cichocki – The Baird’s Sandpiper continues at the south pool. Also seen were several Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Least Sandpiper, Green Heron, female Wood Ducks, immature Bald Eagle, about 8 Common Gallinule, and hundreds of swallows coming from the north (mostly of Tree but with a few Barn). Seen earlier in the morning along the Winding Waters Trail in NY: a female Northern Harrier, Common Yellowthroat, several flocks of Bobolinks. and female Indigo Bunting.

9/7 (Wallkill River NWR) Marianne Ofenloch – Maria Loukeris and I had a Baird’s Sandpiper at the south pool of the Liberty Marsh, as well as an assortment of other shorebirds, waterfowl, and wading birds, plus a pair of Merlins chasing each other about 10 feet above our heads.

9/3 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – heard an Eastern Phoebe calling in the yard. A trip to Kuser Natural Area in High Point State Park had Red-eyed, Blue-headed, & Yellow-throated Vireos, Black-throated Green, Prairie, and Black-and-White Warblers, American Redstart, Scarlet Tanager, and a possible Least Flycatcher were the highlights of the trip. Also seen or heard were Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Turkey Vulture, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, and White-breasted Nuthatch.

8/24 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – In the yard, had Red-eyed Vireo singing, a Baltimore Oriole calling, and American Crows chasing a Common Raven with both calling to each other.

8/18 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had both Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos calling and about six immature Purple Finches feeding on the cedar berries in the yard.

8/17 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had a Red-eyed Vireo singing and a pale Brown Thrasher in our bird bath. This is the 3rd year we have had this particular bird in the yard. The Great Egret joined the cattle in the farm pond on Van Sickle Rd.

8/16 (Wallkill River NWR) John Higgins – An estimated 100 beautiful Great Egrets were in the crossover in the back of the Liberty Loop. Looked up and saw a doe with her fawns.

8/16 Andreas C. Loizides – Spotted a Bald Eagle atop denuded tree-top on property between Sussex Mills Rd. and Fox Hollow Rd. from our yard.

8/7 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki had an immature screeching Red-tailed Hawk in the trees; an immature Great Horned Owl was doing the same thing on another night. We had a Red-eyed Vireo singing, a Great-crested Flycatcher calling, a male Red-winged Blackbird with a fledgling, and a family of Cedar Waxwings. A Great Egret has joined the Great Blue Heron at the farm pond on Van Sickle Road.

7/23 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had a group of Cedar Waxwings & a male Eastern Towhee in the yard.

7/17 (Hyper Humus) Karyn Cichocki – Lots of parents & fledgling birds – Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Red-winged Blackbirds, Eastern Kingbirds, and Song & Swamp Sparrows. Other birds seen or heard: Marsh Wren, Green & Great Blue Heron, Barn & Tree Swallow, Willow Flycatcher, Veery, Wood Thrush, American Redstart, two adult Bald Eagles, Warbling & Yellow-throated Vireo, a female Wood Duck with at least 12 ducklings swimming in the stream, and 6 Cedar Waxwings. Also photographed a crayfish.IMG_3306

7/12 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – In the yard, had Red-bellied Woodpeckers feeding babies, young White-breasted Nuthatches, a family of Eastern Kingbirds, Chimney Swifts flying overhead, fledgling House Wrens, and the Carolina Wren started building a nest in the garage jalousie window. We still hear the fledgling Red-tailed Hawks calling during the day and fledgling Great-horned Owls at night.

7/4 (Andover Twp) Deborah Bifulco – In her yard: at least 3 pairs of Red-bellied Woodpeckers with fledglings, Downy Woodpeckers & fledglings, & a total of 12 House Wrens fledglings. The Eastern Bluebirds are about six days from fledging. Still hear Ovenbird and Wood Thrush singing & occasionally hear a Hooded Warbler. Northern Cardinals, Gray Catbirds, American Robins, and House Finches are still bringing young around and, I suspect, working on next broods.

6/25 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had a Brown Thrasher in the yard; also heard an Eastern Towhee, Carolina Wren, & Black-billed Cuckoo calling.

6/23 (Andover Twp) Merle and Roger Tanis – A Red-bellied Woodpecker mother feeding her young sunflower seeds on our deck rail provided a delightful show despite the frustration of two gray squirrels competing with her at the feeder.

6/22 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek – spotted a female Downy Woodpecker feeding her youngster in the tree near their feeder.

6/21 (Andover Twp) Deborah Bifulco – Lots of nesting activity in her yard. Includes House Wrens (13 baby house wrens in two boxes, about a week from fledgling) and Eastern Bluebirds. Currently in the yard being fed by parents: Red-bellied Woodpeckers (3 pairs), Downy Woodpeckers (3 pairs), Tufted Titmice, House Finches, and Northern Cardinals. Fleeting glimpses of Gray Catbirds as they scurry into the shrubs, but they are keeping the babies hidden. 3 Blue Jays are begging for peanuts.

6/21 (Wallkill River NWR) Donna and Don Traylor – We just happened to stop at the Owens Station Road area and had 6 Snow Geese just past the gate.

6/20 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – In the yard, we saw a Chipping Sparrow being followed by its “baby” Brown-headed Cowbird. The Great Horned Owl chicks have fledged and you can hear the family calling back & forth

5/21 (Lafayette Twp)  Karyn Cichocki – My husband, Don, was on Mudcut Rd. and saw an adult Bald Eagle flying towards him about 10 feet above the road with a small bird chasing after it. The eagle landed in a tree and the other bird lost interest. In the yard, we had a male Baltimore Oriole, a female American Redstart, and several calling birds (Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird and Red-eyed Vireo). As I’m typing this, we have a pair of Canada Geese with four goslings walking up the driveway into the yard. Although we have had them flying overhead, this is a first for actually being in the yard. The Purple Martins have returned to the house on Beaver Run Rd. near the Lafayette Elementary School

5/17 (Wallkill River NWR) Tommy Sudol – saw 2 Cattle Egrets at Winding Waters Trail (NY) in the open wet area east of the trail. Many shorebirds in the area as well.

5/14 Deborah Bifulco – had in the yard: 4 sparrow species – Chipping (4), Song (1), White-crowned (1), and White-throated (3). Also had a male Indigo Bunting, Gray Catbirds (4 nesting pairs), and a House Wren nest with three eggs. A second nest is under construction with what I believe is the second female.

5/12 (Sussex Co) Karyn Cichocki – On Thurs, we had a Magnolia Warbler, which was a new yard bird. On Friday, we had White-throated Sparrows, 2 White-crowned Sparrows, several American Redstarts, 2 male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a male Downy Woodpecker, & a female Red-bellied Woodpecker. Today, the White-throated Sparrows have finally left. A friend and I took a walk along the rail trail that runs along Lake Iliff behind Sheridans Restaurant; we saw 56 species, including 10 warbler species, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Wood Duck, Mallard, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Black & Turkey Vultures, either Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s Hawk, immature Bald Eagle, Spotted Sandpiper, Mourning Dove, Northern Flicker, Red-bellied, Downy, & Pileated Woodpeckers, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling & Red-eyed Vireos, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, Tree & Barn Swallows, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, House & Carolina Wrens, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, European Starling, Chipping, Field, White-throated, Song & Swamp Sparrows, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Baltimore Oriole, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Common Grackle, and American Goldfinch. We also saw two beavers swimming in the lake, several muskrats, and what we think was a mink.

5/11 (Sussex Co sites) Blais Brancheau – While birding Friday and Saturday, had the following: Liberty Loop, Wallkill NWR – Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Common Gallinule.; Little Swartswood Lake – Ring-necked Duck;  Culvers Lake (and White Lake as reported by Wade and Sharon Wander) – White-winged Scoter; Delaware River at Poxono boat launch – Black Scoter; marsh behind Newton treatment plant (rail trail – access from Warbasse Junction Road) – Wilson’s Snipe; flying over Newton-Sparta Road – Common Nighthawk; across Old Mine Road from Millbrook Village parking area – Dark-eyed Junco; Walpack-Flatbrook Road, about 1/3 mile north of Walpack Center – Pine Siskins (flock of about a dozen birds, feeding in top of deciduous tree).

5/8 Marianne Ofenloch – while driving on Decker Rd between Augusta and Lafayette, I found a breeding-plumage Black-bellied Plover in a recently plowed field. This species has only been seen in the county about a dozen times, the last time being in 2013 at the Liberty Marsh in Wallkill River Nat’l Wildlife Refuge. I tried to spread the word to other birders, and a few were able to see it today. The other highlight of my trip to this area was a male Orchard Oriole singing from a perch near the road.

5/8 (Frankford Twp) Donna and Don Traylor – The last Dark-eyed Junco appears to have left – my last sighting of it was May 1 where I viewed it in the same binocular field as a Blue-winged Warbler. Until Sunday, we still had 6 White-throated Sparrows and checking the last five years of yard notes, I see that our last White-throats disappeared by May 5-6. Today I had two White-throats picking seed off the ground. Surprisingly, there has been a group of 13 Blue Jays daily for the last week or so. This week we have also noted: male and female Eastern Towhees, two male and one female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, two male and one female Wood Duck, a male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Swamp, Field and Song Sparrows, Common Yellowthroat, Blue-winged Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Ovenbird, Great-crested Flycatcher, a Baltimore Oriole pretending to be a hummingbird at the feeders, and a Barred Owl calling close by this morning.

5/7 (Stokes State Forest) Jeff Crawn – Saw the first male Black-throated Blue Warbler he’s seen in 5 years, plus Hooded Warbler, American Redstart, Red-eyed Vireo, & Gray Catbird. Also heard 4 Barred Owls; saw one fly from a high tree top, but no pictures.

5/5 (Sussex Co sites) Marianne Ofenloch – Culvers Lake: there was a small flock of Ruddy Ducks, 10 Buffleheads (there had been 53 on Friday), and 3 Spotted Sandpipers at the clubhouse boat docks. Swartswood SP: saw a small flock of White-winged Scoters (found earlier in the day by member Bradley White), 3 Ring-necked Ducks, a drake Bufflehead, a small raft of Common Loons, and a single Red-throated Loon that is transitioning into breeding plumage.

5/5 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek & Alan Gutmore – In the yard, we saw, for the first time, a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Other visitors included Mourning Doves, Chipping Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, & Northern Cardinals.

5/4 (Warren & Sussex Co) Karyn Cichocki – Was to lead the club trip to Millbrook Village; due to rain, there were no participants joining her. She saw or heard 58 species her commuting route (31 in the planned trip route). The highlights of the trip were stopping on Walpack-Flatbrook Rd to make sure a box turtle finished crossing the road, seeing a bobcat crossing Old Mine Rd. near the power lines by Watergate, an Osprey at the small pond east of the Watergate parking lot, a Bald Eagle near the power lines & Old Mine Rd., and another Osprey at Lake Ashroe on Struble Rd.

5/3 (Thunder Mountain in DWGNRA) Jeff Crawn photographed an Osprey grabbing a fish.

5/3 (Sunrise Mtn) Jeff Crawn – He saw his first Worm-eating Warbler as well as Black-throated Green, Black-&-White, and Hooded Warblers. Also his first decent photos of a Hairy Woodpecker.

5/3 (Hainesville WMA) Marianne Ofenloch – Least Flycatcher, Warbling & Yellow-throated Vireos, Ovenbird, Northern Parula, and a gorgeous breeding-plumage male Cape May Warbler among at least 2 dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are drinking from flowers there, as well as in my yard; this morning, a female hummer was sharing the bounty in a crabapple tree with an insect-gleaning Nashville Warbler. Had Northern Parula, a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Bluebirds, a pair of House Sparrows, and at least 1 pair of House Wrens in the yard.

5/3 (Sparta Twp) Jill Bainbridge – had her first Baltimore Oriole at hummingbird and sunflower seed feeders; also Indigo Bunting and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

5/3 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – had our first male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at our feeder. Yesterday, we had a Brown Thrasher and a Gray Catbird singing at the same time. Also had a male Purple Finch and a White-crowned Sparrow. Also heard a Warbling Vireo singing at the main branch of the Sussex Library.

5/2 (Culvers Lake) Terry and Lee McQuillen – Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are back now for several days. On the lake, we saw Wood Duck, Common Loon, Mute Swans, Great Blue Herons, Buffleheads, Canada Geese, and Double-crested Cormorants. Lots of American Goldfinch, House and Purple Finches, and White-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Common Grackles, and Red-winged Blackbirds, Bald Eagles (both juvenile and mature), Turkey Vultures, and Osprey. And today for the first time we’ve seen here… Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

5/1 (Sparta Twp) Jill Bainbridge had her first Ruby-throated Hummingbird at feeder.

5/1 (Wawayanda State Park) Russ Edwards had Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Black-&-White Warbler

4/30 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki had a White-crowned Sparrow feeding with the White-throated & Chipping Sparrows. A Pine Siskin managed to find space on the thistle feeder amongst the male American Goldfinches. On April 29, I had an adult Bald Eagle fly up from the Paulinskill where it goes under Beaver Run Road.

4/29 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek – Three Red-Winged Blackbirds visited her backyard – a yard first for her. Also had an American Tree Sparrow, Northern Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows, Mourning Doves, White-breasted Nuthatches, and American Robins.

4/25 Marianne Ofenloch – A male Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrived, which is the earliest date ever for her yard.

4/23 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – Had a singing House Wren, a pair of Gray Catbirds, a pair of Purple Finches, & singing Swamp Sparrows.

4/21 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – Sightings today included: 2 Eastern Meadowlarks calling & 2 male American Kestrels along Roy Rd; Gray Catbird on Fenwick Rd; Swamp and Field Sparrow on Van Sickle Rd.; and male Eastern Towhee in the yard.

4/21 (Stokes SF & surrounding areas) Marianne Ofenloch – Sightings included a group of at least 5 Louisiana Waterthrushes; a male American Redstart and a male Northern Parula singing on their territories; 3 Blue-headed Vireos; and a few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. The House Wren returned to the yard yesterday and has been singing nonstop as it works on building a nest. Also had 5 pairs of Purple Finches feeding with over a dozen American Goldfinches and other birds.

4/20 (Lafayette Twp) Karyn Cichocki – The Dark-eyed Juncos left the yard over the past weekend, but there are more White-throated Sparrows. The local Northern Mockingbird has been singing. A week ago Friday, she heard the first Chipping Sparrow singing, but didn’t see one until last Tuesday; late yesterday afternoon, a flock was feeding on the front lawn. Over the weekend, she had about 5 male and 3 female Purple Finches, but only 1 pair remains. Thursday, she heard a Field Sparrow singing, & today she heard a Gray Catbird calling.

4/19 (Youngs Island Rd, Allamuchy) Charlie Fineran had over the week: a resident Red-tailed Hawk along with multiple American Kestrel sightings.  He also sighted a Peregrine Falcon on top of a telephone pole perched.  Other raptor species included Black and Turkey Vultures.  Some Mallards were in Little Pond, and Barn Swallows were spotted flying into his shed.  There were several nests in the shed.

4/15 (Swartswood Lake) Tommy Sudol  had 2 Caspian Terns circling Swartswood Lake; viewed from Hendershot Point.

4/10 (Wantage Twp) Allison Orsi had at least 4 Palm Warblers catching bugs and a Pine Warbler in the trees.

3/30 (Wallkill River NWR) Marianne Ofenloch – Two Sandhill Cranes were seen by a NY birder this morning; the birds were flying from the NY farms north of Oil City Rd into the Sussex marshes of the Liberty Loop area. The Loop trail is still closed due to damage from flooding and muskrats, but the viewing platform on the NY side of the marsh is open, and the south pool can still be viewed from the trail on the east side of the pool.

3/29 (Fredon Twp.) Wade Wander had a gray-phase Eastern Screech-Owl in the same hole where a red-phase bird sat for its portrait on March 8.SCOW1

3/25 (Culvers Lake) Fred Weber had 6 Long-tailed Ducks and 11 Horned Grebes

3/23 (Allamuchy Twp, Warren Co) Charlie Fineran – Several small gaggles of both Snow Geese and Canada Geese were in the flooded fields. Just off Youngs Island Rd., there was an area where a small number of Snow Geese, Canada Geese and Mallards were all sharing the same flooded field. Have seen the resident Red-tailed Hawk perched along the road on the power poles and in various trees in this area; observed a couple of American Kestrels on the telephone wires along the road. As always plenty of vultures flying overhead, perched in trees and occasionally on the ground. Had a Northern Harrier working the tall brush farm fields. Have also had several large flocks of European Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds out in the fields and in the surrounding trees.

3/23 (Hyper Humus) Susan Predl had some Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, and Green-winged Teal.

3/19 (Sussex Co) Marianne Ofenloch – The yard was full of foraging American Robins last week, the numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles have been on the rise, and more male American Goldfinches are displaying patches of bright yellow plumage and pure black on their heads. Saw an Eastern Phoebe at Hainesville Wildlife Mgmt Area yesterday, and heard one singing in the yard a few minutes ago. The gray and red squirrels are chasing each other again. The snowdrops have formed buds that have yet to open; this might be one of the few years in which the snow has melted before they bloomed.

3/16 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek had 3 Red-shouldered Hawks circling above her home. In flight, the upper under portion was red and the tail was clearly banded.

3/15 (Warren & Sussex Co.) Sue Predl had her first peenting American Woodcock on Wednesday evening and again this morning at dawn. Later in day, had a Pine Warbler singing in the yard. Heard some spring peepers at Hyper Humus.

3/12 (Delaware River by the Dingman’s Bridge). Bradley White had a drake Red-breasted Merganser on the

3/9 (Wawayanda State Park) Russ Edwards had 3 male Red-winged Blackbirds during the afternoon.

3/9 (Hyper Humus) Sue Predl had a Northern Harrier during the evening.

3/8 (Fredon Twp) Wade and Sharon Wander had a red phase Eastern Screech-Owl in a hole in a dead tree off and on (mostly off ) for more than a year. Today, it was perched in the opening catching a few rays. Note how it perches on the bottom rim of the hole.SCOW

3/8 (Wawayanda State Park) Russell Edwards had a Rough-legged Hawk and a Belted Kingfisher perched about 25 yards apart.

3/5 (SCMUA) Karyn Cichocki had 2 immature Bald Eagles perched. and an adult Bald Eagle and a Turkey Vulture soaring above the landfill. One of the immature eagles, perched near the entrance, was being mobbed by 2 Common Ravens.

3/4 (Culvers Lake) Lee and Terry McQuillin saw lots of gull and Bald Eagle activity. The fishermen left early and the birds came for their treats. All the eagles they saw were juveniles. At one point, they had six at one time on the ice and/or chasing each other.

3/2 (Fredon Twp) Wade and Sharon Wander heard some American Crows about 6:45; they were mobbing a Barred Owl which then flew down from a hidden perch onto the ground at the base of a sassafras tree where they have several feeders. The bird stayed for about 15 minutes, making a few feeble attempts to catch some small birds. Attached are 2 photos taken through a glass door.

3/2  (Culvers Lake) Lee & Terry McQuillin saw three Bald Eagles (2 adults and 1 immature) fighting on the lake before flying into the woods. They were probably fighting over scraps the fishermen leave. One adult flew past the upstairs window at eye level, and a Cooper’s Hawk perched for quite some time on a tree branch outside the same window.

2/24 (Various Sussex & Warren Co. sites) Marianne Ofenloch – A Boreal Chickadee was found and photographed at the feeders at the Merrill Creek (Warren Co.) visitor’s center on Saturday by a visitor to the area; it was reportedly still there this morning. The VC & parking lot gates are open from 10-4 on weekends and 8:30-4:30 on weekdays. More info on the site can be found at This is the first confirmed sighting of a Boreal Chickadee in NJ since the 1980’s. Other rare birds of interest being seen this weekend at that reservoir include a Barrow’s Goldeneye hen, at least one Ross’s Goose, and a Long-tailed Duck hen. Numerous adult and immature Bald Eagles were soaring above several sites in Montague Twp yesterday. Common Ravens were playing in the winds above Steenykill Lake in High Point State Park. A drake Green-winged Teal was at Hainesville WMA. Thousands of Canada Geese continue in the open water at Owens Station (Wallkill River Nat’l Wildlife Refuge), along with a drake Greater Scaup, a drake Lesser Scaup, and many Ring-necked Ducks and Common Mergansers. Hundreds of ducks were landing after sunset in the Sussex marshes at the Liberty Loop (Wallkill River NWR).

2/17 (Jefferson Twp, Morris Co.) Alice Piatek had 2 adult Bald Eagles and 1 Red-tailed Hawk flying over Berkshire Valley and Chamberlain Rds.

2/16 (Spruce Run & Round Valley Reservoirs) Alice Piatek had Canvasback (approx. 20), Common Mergansers, Lesser Scaups, American Wigeon (3), American Black Ducks, Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Mallards, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Black Vultures, Turkey Vultures, Great Black-backed Gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Song Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, & Carolina Wren.

2/14 (Wallkill River NWR) Marianne Ofenloch – A Ross’s Goose was found on Thursday afternoon at the Owens Station Road pond. It might have been the same bird that was seen on Thursday morning in Orange County, NY, as the flocks of waterfowl tend to move around the area throughout the day. At least one Cackling Goose and a drake Greater Scaup (not yet in full breeding plumage) have also been visiting that pond over the last 2 weeks, along with Northern Pintails, American Wigeons, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Mergansers, and other waterfowl.

2/8 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek had a Bald Eagle in a tree in front of her home.

2/8 (Culvers Lake) Terry and Lee McQuillan had 7 Bald Eagles (6 immature and 1 adult). The adult pair and local juveniles have been there most days; there’s also been a third-year bird. Fisherman have been leaving scraps on the ice for them.

2/1 (Allamuchy Twp, Warren Co.) Charlie Fineran had a Peregrine Falcon near his house off Youngs Island Rd. A year ago, there was one at the same location.

1/27 (Mongaup Valley WMA, NY) Lori Krieger was at the Mongaup Falls Eagle Blind and the volunteer group there spotted 53 eagles for the day.

1/27 (Hyper Humus) Bill Warren had a Sora; it stayed for a few minutes and flew upstream.

1/22 Marianne Ofenloch – had 33 White-throated Sparrows, 18 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 American Tree Sparrow, & some European Starlings, but Purple Finches and Red-breasted Nuthatch seem to have disappeared. A flock of 14 Wild Turkeys were feeding &/or getting gravel for their gizzards on the Montague portion of Old Mine Road.

1/22 (Frankford Twp) Donna and Don Traylor had a a European Starling and Brown-headed Cowbird in their yard on Sunday; on Monday, they had a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, an American Tree Sparrow, and a Common Redpoll among a small flock of American Goldfinches. The redpoll returned with the goldfinches this morning.

1/21 (Oak Ridge) Alice Piatek had 2 White-Breasted Nuthatches, 2 American Goldfinches, 2 House Finches, 6 White-Throated Sparrows, 6-7 House Sparrows, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 1 Hairy Woodpecker, 1 Red-Bellied Woodpecker, 1 Tufted Titmouse, 1 Black-Capped Chickadee, 3 Blue Jays, 4 Northern Cardinals, and 8 Dark-Eyed Juncos.

1/18 (Hainesville WMA) Marianne Ofenloch – was surprised to see the Black Phoebe feeding along the north edge of the pond. It had last been seen on 1/11/19.

1/13 (Hainesville WMA & other sites) Marianne Ofenloch – the last sightings of the Say’s Phoebe at Wallkill River NWR were on Jan 4th. A few birders, myself included, were checking yesterday, and while we didn’t see the Black Phoebe, we did see a huge (at least 100 birds), very active flock of Cedar Waxwings, as well as a Gray Catbird and a small flock of 17 Common Redpolls that briefly mingled with the waxwings before flying out of view to the northwest. The Red-breasted Merganser is still at Culvers Lake, which is beginning to freeze again, and a Short-eared Owl was active around sunset over the Sussex Co. marshes at the Liberty Loop in Wallkill River NWR.

1/11 (Wallkill River NWR) Fred Weber had a distant Rough-legged Hawk, 2 closer Northern Harriers, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, a perched Bald Eagle, and a Kingfisher at the south end of the Liberty Loop. Then at dusk, one Short-eared Owl.

1/10 Fred Weber had an immature Iceland Gull on Culvers Lake. The large gull flock was near the  north shore but in good light viewed from west shore access.

1/9 Fred Weber had a second winter Glaucous Gull and 4 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls on  Culvers Lake at about 4 PM.  They were close to west shore in sunlight.

1/7 (Hainesville WMA & other sites) Marianne Ofenloch – The Black Phoebe was still being seen today, but as of about sunset this afternoon, most of the open water now has a thin covering of ice. The last reported sighting of the Say’s Phoebe at Wallkill River NWR seems to have been Friday late afternoon…around the same time the Black Phoebe was found. A hen Barrow’s Goldeneye was reported over the weekend in the company of a small flock of Common Goldeneyes. The flock has been working the Delaware River in Warren County between Turtle Beach in the Delaware Water Gap Nat’l Recreation Area and the Worthington State Forest office area. I was blessed to view it today from the campground road north of the park office, along with an apparently aberrant/unusual hen Common Goldeneye that has an all-yellow bill. Her head is a lighter shade of brown and has a more sloped forehead than the Barrow’s hen. Also seen along the campground road: a Winter Wren and a male Ruby-crowned Kinglet whose red crown flashed as it fed in the berry brambles.

1/6 (Hainsville WMA) Donna Traylor and several other birders report that the Black Pheobe continues in the same area.

1/5 (Hainesville WMA) Allison Orsi reports that the Black Pheobe continues at the Hainsville WMA in Montague.  It was spotted in several different spots in the area of the dam and the road to the dam.

1/5 (Wallkill River NWR) Karyn Cichocki reports that the Say’s Pheobe continues; she spotted it about 50 yds from the trail, and it was seen by several people present

1/4 (Hainesville WMA) Former SCBC member Scott Angus found & photographed a Black Phoebe late Friday afternoon at Hainesville WMA; some of his photos are attached. It was very active, flycatching and calling frequently as it hunted on the site, primarily near and around the dam and the lake outflow. This is the first time this species has been seen in Sussex County, and is a first record for the state of NJ as well. There is also no record on eBird of this species being seen east of the Mississippi River. An amazing find, to be sure! If you plan on going to the WMA, note that parking is limited to 2 small dirt lots and 1 road pulloff; the lots and the access roads will be muddy if it rains, there are often ticks in the grasses, and the traffic on the main road is often moving well above the speed limit so be careful if you walk on that road.

1/3  (Wallkill River NWR) Tommy Sudol saw a Say’s Phoebe this morning at Winding Waters Trail (NY). The bird was east of the trail in the marsh near a “flood control” sign that had some red graffiti.

1/3 (Easton, PA) Bob Cappuccio had a large number of Snow Geese while driving on Rt. 22. He estimated the number of geese to be in the thousands.

1/2 (SCMUA & Fredon Twp) Marianne Ofenloch saw an immature Glaucous Gull at SCMUA. A Cackling Goose was found at Waterwheel Farm in Fredon on Jan 1st; it was still there, with a long-staying Snow Goose, a handful of Killdeer, and a pair of Northern Shovelers.