NOTE: All photos are copyrighted by the photographer & may not be used or reprinted without their permission.
12/19/21-12/26/21 – Sussex County sites (Karyn Cichocki) – In her Lafayette yard, she had flocks of American Robins, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and European Starlings. Two female Brown-headed Cowbirds were seen on 12/19 (Sussex Circle Christmas Count) and then two males were seen later in the week with a Common Grackle. Also had a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. On 12/26, she and Sandy McPhail covered a section for the PEEC (Pocono Environmental Education Center) Christmas Count. Their highlight of the day was a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches; they also had a Hermit Thrush, American Goldfinches, and Eastern Bluebirds.
12/12/21 – Search for Eagles, Brandwein trip (Jack Padalino leader) – The first Search for Eagles (Brandwein trip) of the winter 2021-22 series was held on a clear, sunny day that began with watching feeder birds a PEEC. Two participants, wearing face covering & social distancing, logged 149 miles in the Delaware Water Gap Nat’l Rec. Area and Upper Delaware Scenic River from PEEC to the Bushkill Access and the trip’s conclusion at the headwaters of the Lackawaxen River. 31 species of birds were seen, including 9 Bald Eagles (8 adults & 1 juvenile), 1 Red-shouldered Hawk, 7 Red-tailed Hawks, 3 Common Ravens, and Gray Catbird.
12/7/21 – Lake Mohawk (Bill Warren) – At the north end were hundreds of gulls (maybe 1,000); mostly Ring-billed Gulls but also Herring Gulls and a few Great Black-backed Gulls. Further south on the lake, there were lots of Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks, Mallards, and some Buffleheads.
12/6/21 – Sussex County sites (Karyn Cichocki) – At Paulinskill Lake, had Canada Geese; at Swartswood Lake, had Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks, & American Black Ducks; at Little Swartswood Lake, had Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Ring-billed Ducks; at Waterwheel Farm in Fredon Twp, had Canada Geese, Snow Goose, Hooded Merganser, Bufflehead, Mallard, & Great Blue Heron. In Lafayette Twp yard, had 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers on the front stoop railing.
12/5/21 – Sussex County sites (Karyn Cichocki) – At Culvers Lake, had about 200 Ring-billed Gulls, 2 Herring Gulls, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, a pair each of American Wigeon and Ring-necked Duck, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Mallard, and Belted Kingfisher. At Lake Ashroe in Stokes SF, had Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Hooded Merganser, and White-breasted Nuthatch. At the intersection by the Walpack Cemetery, there was a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, plus flocks of Cedar Waxwings and American Robins feeding on berries. Near Bevans Rd. in Sandyston Twp, had a pair of perched Red-tailed Hawks and an adult Bald Eagle flying overhead. In Lafayette Twp yard, had House Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and a male Eastern Bluebird.
12/5/21 – Search for Eagles trip (Jack Padalino leader) – The first Search for Eagles trip of the winter 2021-22 series was held on a partly cloudy day that began with watching feeder birds including Downy Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Junco, Blue Jays, & Black-capped Chickadees among others. Four participants, wearing face covering & social distancing, logged 152 miles in the Delaware Water Gap Nat’l Rec. Area and Upper Delaware Scenic River from PEEC to the Bushkill Access and the trip’s conclusion at the headwaters of the Lackawaxen River. 31 species of birds were seen, including 14 Bald Eagles (12 adults & 2 juveniles), 1 Red-shouldered Hawk, 4 Red-tailed Hawks, 2 Peregrine Falcons, and 2 Wild Turkeys.
11/30/21 – Culvers Lake (Fred Weber) – had an adult Bald Eagle picking at remains of what looked like another eagle on the ice 50′ off the causeway.
11/13 & 11/14/21 – Frankford Twp (Don & Donna Traylor) – on 11/13, they had a huge mixed flock of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings plus their first Purple Finch (female) of the season. On 11/14, the robins & waxwings continued, and Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, and Yellow-rumped Warbler were also seen.
11/13/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had a small flock of Cedar Waxwings that joined the flocks of American Robins & European Starlings. Also had White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and a pair of House Finches. The pair of Northern Cardinals have chased their youngsters away. We have a couple of joining the yard bird crowd. I haven’t bothered putting the thistle feeder out as there aren’t any birds here that would go to it, which I hope will change.
11/10/21 – Annual SCBC Northwest Lakes trip (Marianne Ofenloch) – 3 SCBC members & I enjoyed a mostly sunny day for the annual trip. Birding was unusually light, with few species of waterfowl or other water birds encountered. A total of 35 species were seen &/or heard during the trip. We spent most of our time in Swartswood State Park, viewing birds from several locations. Both Swartswood & Culvers Lakes had Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, & Bufflehead. A pair of Wood Ducks, a few Pied-billed Grebes, & a Double-crested Cormorant were at Swartswood, while Culvers held a few Ring-billed Gulls & a small flock of Ring-necked Ducks actively feeding with a flock of Buffleheads. The hoped-for Golden Eagle never appeared, but we had Bald Eagle & a few other raptors.
11/4/21 – Wallkill River NWR (Karyn Cichocki, Deborah Bifulco, Alan Boyd, & Allison Orsi) – walked the trail from Owens Station Road to the Liberty Loop trail along Liberty Marsh. There were many Red-winged Blackbirds, a few American Robins, White-throated, Song, and Swamp Sparrows, 3 Mute Swans, 3 Northern Harriers, and a perched adult Bald Eagle that eventually flew over the marsh & flushed thousands of ducks (mostly Green-winged Teal with a few Northern Pintails, American Black Ducks, Mallards, and Canada Geese). Over 100 American Crows flew south. We heard a Greater Yellowlegs calling and had a small flock of American Pipits. On her way home, she stopped at the causeway at Culvers Lake and saw small groups of Ruddy Duck & Buffleheads in the lake and a Great Blue Heron in the marsh.
11/1/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had her first-of-the-season Dark-eyed Junco in the yard, as well as American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Yellow-rumped Warblers & Northern Cardinals. The numbers of White-throated Sparrows are increasing. The Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, & White-breasted Nuthatches are joined at the feeder by a lone male House Finch.
10/28/21 – Wallkill River NWR (Karyn Cichocki & Allison Orsi) – walked the trail north from Owens Station Rd. to Liberty Marsh. There were lots of American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, White-throated Sparrows, and a lone Common Grackle on the trail. At the marsh, they had Song, Swamp, & Field Sparrows, a lone Dark-eyed Junco, male & female Northern Harrier, male & female Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawk, Rusty Blackbird,s over 300 American Crows, & 2 Blue-winged Teal in the south pond. Green-winged Teal, American Black Duck, Mallard, & Northern Pintail were spotted along with Canada Geese. On the way back to Owens Station they saw a non-breeding Blackpoll Warbler in the bushes by the bridge. Other birds seen or heard: Turkey Vulture, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blue Jay, Eastern Bluebird, & Cedar Waxwings.
10/22/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – During the past week, she had small flocks of Cedar Waxwings, American Robins, & Yellow-rumped Warblers. The waxwings and robins were chasing each other. Also had a few White-throated Sparrows, a male Northern Flicker, and several Eastern Bluebirds. Today (10/22), a Palm Warbler and Chipping Sparrow joined the American Robins and Yellow-rumped Warblers on the front lawn. Also saw an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and 4 male Red-winged Blackbirds.
10/21/21 – Schooley’s Mountain Park, Morris County (Kathy & Bob Wilson) – saw four Hermit Thrushes, five Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a number of Yellow-rumped Warblers and White-throated Sparrows, Hairy, Downy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and a glimpse of a Brown Creeper along the wood edge near the meadows.
10/16/21 – SCBC Sunrise Mountain Hawk Watch (Scott Rando) – We had sunny skies to start, but rapidly turned to scattered to broken clouds with SE to S winds at 10-12 MPH, increasing a bit later in the morning. Temperature was mild, reaching the mid-70’s by noon. Due to wind direction, the raptors were on the east side of the ridge. We started out with a male “gray ghost” Northern Harrier, followed by 3 Sharp-shinned Hawks, some local Red-tailed Hawks, a Peregrine Falcon, an American Kestrel, and 7 Bald Eagles. We also had a good amount of Turkey and Black Vultures and lots of Common Ravens. There was a single flock of ravens that numbered over 30. Canada Geese were also seen. A few buck moths were also spotted. No reptiles were seen, but a spring peeper was sounding in the morning.
10/9/21 – SCBC Fall Migration/”October Big Day” Field Trip to Stokes SF & High Point SP (Marianne Ofenloch) – 5 SCBC members joined me as we birded around Lake Ocquittunk and by the Flatbrook near Steam Mill camping area, all in Stokes State Forest, as well as the Red Barn Pond area in High Point State Park. We saw or heard a total of 30 species. Overall, it was bird-light, but we had good views of some birds, including both species of kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Chipping Sparrow. We saw at least 5 Dark-eyed Juncos in a mixed flock at Lake Ocquittunk; at least 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches were also seen & heard in that area. A total of 30 species were seen &/or heard on the trip.
9/30/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – There has been a flock of about 25 Cedar Waxwings occasionally feeding on the dogwood berries. A pair of American Redstarts showed up one morning along with another female Bay-breasted Warbler. The pair of Northern Flickers are seen either feeding in the grass or heard calling back and forth. The first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the season was seen. A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird hovering in the air at the top of a maple tree. Groups of Blue Jays were seen flying southeast above the house. The calls of Common Raven have become almost a daily thing and many days they are seen flying around the area.
9/21/21 – Wantage Twp (Vicky Kaiser) – We had a visit from a Ruby-throated Hummingbird yesterday. I took the picture through the screen.
9/19 & 9/20/21 – Frankford Twp (Bob Cappuccio) – On 9/19, the remaining immature Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were feeding voraciously. 9/20 came and they were gone. On another note, the spotted lanternfly has made its appearance at Culvers Lake and has been appropriately reported.
Week of 9/15/21- Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – we have been enjoying watching and listening to a pair of Northern Flickers call back and forth. Small groups of European Starlings joined the flock of House Sparrows on the front lawn. We also had 13 adult & immature Chipping Sparrows, Common Raven, a male Eastern Bluebird, a Red-eyed Vireo, an Eastern Phoebe, a female Black-and-white Warbler, Blue Jays, and (much to my surprise) another new yard bird: a female Bay-breasted Warbler. We usually don’t get many warblers in the yard but our house seems to be on their path this year.
9/13/21 – Winding Waters Trail (NY), Wallkill River NWR (Karyn Cichocki) – joined a group walking the trail; they saw lots of monarch butterflies over the marsh lands, as well as several Northern Harriers, a large flock of Bobolinks, Osprey, Broad-winged & Red-tailed Hawks, Warbling Vireo (heard), Eastern Wood-Pewee, Marsh Wren (heard), Indigo Bunting, and a couple of Great Egrets.
9/4/21 – SCBC Field Trip to Liberty Marsh, Wallkill River NWR (Karyn Cichocki) – Sandy McPhail joined me for the trip. It was a lovely day. We saw or heard a total of 24 species: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Turkey Vulture, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-bellied & Downy Woodpeckers, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Warbling Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Barn, Cliff, & Tree Swallows, Gray Catbird, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, American Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, and Common Yellowthroat. There were several monarch butterflies as well as a red admiral. Lots of different grasshoppers and woolly caterpillars in a range of yellow, orange, and very dark brown colors.
9/3-9/6/21 – Andover Twp (Deborah Bifulco) – The highlights over the long weekend were Canada Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Northern Parula, Black-and-white Warbler, and American Redstart. There are also still at least 6 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, mostly females and juveniles. A pair of Northern Cardinals are feeding 3 fledglings and the last brood of Gray Catbirds fledged about a week ago. Has a lot of monarchs, mostly on her buddleia bushes.
8/30/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – heard Red-eyed Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, and Great-crested Flycatcher. A pair of Northern Flickers were calling. There was a flock of European Starlings several noisy Blue Jays.
8/16/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – Had House Finches that appeared to have the recent “mystery disease” that were taken to the Avian Wildlife Ctr but didn’t survive. Also had Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Bluebird, Common Raven, Blue Jays, American Robins, and Carolina Wrens. There was a Cooper’s Hawk in an oak tree with what might have been a Mourning Dove in its talons. Liberty Marsh, Wallkill River NWR – Debbie Bifulco & Alan Boyd joined her and had Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, Least & Spotted Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Common Gallinule, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Blue-winged Teal, Mallard & Wood Ducks, 2 Least Bitterns, an adult Bald Eagle, Tree Swallows, & a few Barn Swallows. At Oil City Road, they saw Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Mallards, Wood Ducks, Common Gallinule, Least Sandpipers, Killdeer, Wilson’s Snipe, & Wood Ducks. In the trees north of Oil City Road, there were at least 30 Great Egrets and an immature Little Blue Heron.
8/10-8/11/21 – Andover Twp (Deborah Bifulco) – Saw her first-ever yard Least Flycatcher followed shortly by an immature Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Had a female American Redstart chasing a fledgling Tufted Ttitmouse. Our resident male House Wren managed to sire 5 broods this year, a new record. The Gray Catbirds still have at least one active nest. There are at least 10 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds but probably more. More butterflies now, too: all five local species of swallowtails, including pipevine, which isn’t common in my patch; also American snout, a steady stream of monarchs and various skippers.
8/6/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had fledgling Gray Catbirds with their parents at the birdbath. The House Wren nestlings are getting louder and can be seen at the nest box opening. She ssaw at first glance what she thought was a young House Finch but it turned out to be a young Chipping Sparrow. A male Ruby-throated Hummingbird has been defending the feeder, but he is outnumbered by the number of mostly immature birds that have shown up in the yard. Other yard birds have been Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Bluebird, and an immature Northern Mockingbird.
7/14/21 – Liberty Marsh, Wallkill River NWR & Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – I led a walk to the Liberty Marsh from Owens Station Rd. The group got to see Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Duck, & Common Gallinule with their young. A Least Bittern sat posing for pictures. On the way back, a Giant Swallowtail was seen in the wet mud on the side of the trail under the trees. In the yard, she’s had a family of 4 Carolina Wrens, an immature Red-tailed Hawk, and a Northern Mockingbird doing the calls of Carolina Wren, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, & Eastern Kingbird in its repertoire.
7/12/21 – Twin Lakes, Kittatinny Valley SP (Karyn Cichocki) – walked with a group that was surprised to see 4 Great Egrets fly overhead. A male Indigo Bunting posed for pictures. The butterfly weed, milkweed, and monarda (bee balm) are blooming in the field around the campground on Goodale Rd. so there was a nice selection of butterflies, bees, and other bugs. Eastern Kingbird, Marsh Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Orchard & Baltimore Orioles, and Field Sparrow were other birds seen or heard.
7/7/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had over 40 American Crows, 5 Gray Catbirds, House Wrens that built a nest in the Carolina Wren box, and Great-crested Flycatcher calling in the area.
6/26/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had young Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and White-breasted Nuthatches. Also had Great-horned Owl screeching and an American Robin singing almost non-stop during the day for 3 days. Its calls are different from others and almost sounds like an Orchard Oriole, which is what she thought it was a first. Last week, during a visit at the Sussex end of Liberty Loop/Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge with Allison Orsi, the Pied-billed Grebes (5), Wood Ducks (11), and Common Gallinules (8) were all parading around with their youngsters in the south pond.
6/23/21 – Stokes SF & Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – At one of the overlooks going up to the Sunrise Mtn. pavilion, there was a singing Prairie Warbler perched in a dead tree. Later, while standing in the parking lot of the Steam Mill Camping Area in Stokes State Forest, Alan Boyd and I saw an adult American Woodcock being followed by two chicks. They walked back into the vegetation, came out and took a drink at the spring pipe, and then went back into the vegetation. In the yard, had young Brown-headed Cowbirds, American Robins, and House Finches, plus a vocal Common Raven and a Carolina Wren singing in the distance.
6/18/21 – Flanders (Bill McDaniel) – Saw a Great-crested Flycatcher in his yard, which was a life bird for him.
6/18/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had the first fledglings of Northern Cardinal and Red-bellied Woodpecker.
6/11/21 – Liberty Loop Trail, Wallkill River NWR (Russ Edwards) – two adult Sandhill Cranes with one immature being harassed by male Red-winged Blackbirds.
6/10-6/12/21 – Lafayette Twp & Hyper Humus (Karyn Cichocki) – had Great-crested Flycatcher & Baltimore Oriole along with the regular birds. Heard the fledgling Great Horned Owls calling in the neighborhood. Heard Brown Thrasher and Carolina Wren, saw House Finches, a pair of Chipping Sparrows, a male American Goldfinch show up at the thistle feeder after being absent since the end of April. A walk in Hyper Humus on 6/10/21 with Debbie Bifulco & Allison Orsi produced Baltimore & Orchard Orioles, Song & Swamp Sparrows, Marsh Wren, Willow & Great-crested Flycatchers, Warbling, Red-eyed & Yellow-throated Vireos, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Turkey Vulture, Mute Swan, and a female Wood Duck with at least 9 ducklings. Today (6/12) at Hyper Humus, had 3 calling Willow Flycatchers & a squawking Green Heron in the top of a tree. The Swamp Sparrows and Marsh Wrens were very vocal and were singing while holding onto to the reeds.
5/20/21 – Wood Duck Trail, Wallkill River NWR (Karyn Cichocki, Debborah Bifulco, Allison Orsi, & Donna Traylor) – walked the Wood Duck Trail in Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. and had Warbling, Red-eyed, & Yellow-throated Vireos, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, & American Redstart, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds, an immature White-crowned Sparrow on the trail and then later saw a mature bird, and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo calling. In the yard, (Lafayette Twp), saw Great-crested Flycatcher, Warbling & Red-eyed Vireos, and heard Yellow Warbler and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
5/19/21 – Winding Waters Trail, Wallkill River NWR in Orange County, NY (Allison Orsi) – saw at least 6 bright blue male Indigo Buntings flying across the trail, 2 Eastern Kingbirds taking diving baths in the river, a female Baltimore Oriole building her nest.
5/16/21 – SCBC Spring Migrants field trip to Sparta Mountain WMA (Matt Skalla, leader) – Seven of us birded at Ryker Lake, on both sides of the road around the Edison Monument, and at Mount Paul. 43 species were seen. Trip highlights included Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo heard by many, an American Redstart on her nest, and a pair of Northern Waterthrushes who were happy to be heard but did not want to be seen. Also had one eBird “rare” bird, a Ring-necked Duck who decided he wasn’t ready to continue his migration north yet.
5/15/21 SCBC Bird & Nature Walk at Dryden Kuser Natural Area (Karyn Cichocki, leader) – 8 people joined me for a walk on the Cedar Swamp Trail in the Dryden Kuser Natural Area in High Point State Park. We saw or heard only 25 species, but we were entertained by the squawking of several Common Ravens. Two porcupines were sleeping in pine trees and were a first for several in the group. Another surprise was an immature Eastern Milk Snake that was warming itself on the concrete square at the trail parking lot. The attached picture has my car key next to it for size reference.
5/14-5/17/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – The single White-throated Sparrow that we had in the yard was last seen on 5/14/21. Heard a Great-crested Flycatcher and a Red-eyed Vireo calling, a pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds coming to the nectar feeder, and House Wrens have filled both nest boxes with sticks.
5/12/21 – SCBC Spring Migrants field trip to Hainesville WMA (Karyn Cichocki, leader) – 4 people joined me to brave the cold winds blowing across the lake at the Hainesville Wildlife Management Area. Despite the cool temperatures and wind, we managed to get a total of 44 species.
5/11/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – was quite surprised to look out and see a Red-breasted Nuthatch at her sunflower feeder.
5/9/21 – SCBC Spring Migrants field trip to Delaware Water Gap NRA, Warren County (Karyn Cichocki, leader) – 7 SCBC members joined me for the annual field trip to the Millbrook Village/Watergate area of the park. Because of the construction going on at Watergate, which is closed, we just walked south along Old Mine Road from the village to the power lines and back and then along the stream path that runs behind the village parking lot. We saw 53 species. What was surprising was the amount of White-throated Sparrows that were up in the trees flitting around like warblers. This behavior has been reported by various birders and we have all been surprised that they are still around in such numbers. The group also came upon a flock of American Goldfinches; 4 Pine Siskins were spotted with them. Another bird of note was a Lincoln’s Sparrow, which was a life bird for me.
5/8/21 – Andover Twp (Karyn Cichocki & Lois Ferguson) – walked the new rail trail from Lake Iliff to Lake Aeroflex. Warblers included Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Prairie Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler. The highlights of the trip were good views of a male Bay-breasted Warbler and seeing, almost side-by-side, a Baltimore Oriole & Orchard Oriole in a tree. There were a pair of Osprey flying over Lake Aeroflex and Northern Rough-winged Swallows were flying over the planes at the airfield. We heard a Red-eyed Vireo and heard & saw several Warbling Vireos. Other birds of interest: Wood Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Kingbird, Northern Waterthrush, Wood Duck, & Double-crested Cormorant. Earlier, Lois had walked the full length of the Hillside Trail, which runs under Newton-Sparta Rd, and had a Dark-eyed Junco with some White-throated Sparrows.
5/8/21 – SCBC World Migratory Bird Day field trip (Sue Predl, leader) – 4 of us birded Stokes State Forest for 4.5 hours between the rain drops. We saw or heard the following 22 species: Louisiana Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush, Veery, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Black-and-White Warbler, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Oriole, Northern Parula, Blackburnian Warbler, Eastern Kingbird, American Redstart, Chipping Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Canada Goose, American Goldfinch, American Crow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-throated Green Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Cooper’s Hawk, Northern Flicker, Yellow Warbler, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Pileated Woodpecker.
5/7/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – was surprised to hear a Bobolink calling, and later, heard another, then saw at least 4 males them flying around the tops of the cedar trees. Still has about 5 White-throated Sparrows.
5/6/21 – Fredon & Frelinghuysen Twps (Wade & Sharon Wander) – After decades of never having a Pileated Woodpecker come to a suet feeder, a local male has discovered the joy of an easy meal, and now visits several times a day, going to both real suet and one of the pre-made cakes. At Frelinghuysen Forest Preserve we came across a very cooperative White-crowned Sparrow.
5/6/21 – Dingmans Ferry, PA (Jack Padalino) – Had a female Evening Grosbeak at our feeders this morning.
5/4/21 – Hyper Humus (Allison Orsi et al) – Prothonotary Warbler, first spotted by Karyn Cichocki and Donna Traylor, photographed by Deb Bifulco (photos up on ebird)….ten steps into the Paulinskill Valley Trail from the Warbasse Junction parking lot at Hyper Humus. We were standing on the metal bridge over the water when we all watched it flitting about and singing, perhaps darting after another bird, at about 9:40am. If you would like to see pictures, Deb uploaded them onto the ebird list seen here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S87103223
We walked the whole loop through the marsh, also seeing an Osprey dive and catch a fish, then a Bald Eagle headed straight for it, chasing the Osprey as it twisted and dodged from the eagle. The eagle finally gave up and flew away, and the Osprey got to keep his fish. Other highlights included a Savannah Sparrow, lots of Yellow Warblers, Blue-winged Warblers, American Redstarts, Northern Parula, Black and White Warbler… and more! If you haven’t gotten out lately, now is the time!
5/3/21 – Allamuchy Mountain SP (Karyn Cichocki) – went with a group for a walk to Deer Park Pond, which is closed to vehicle traffic. They came upon a mini-fallout of warblers (including several Black & White, Black-throated Blue, & Black-throated Green Warblers, Cape May Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler) plus some Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Other warblers seen or heard: American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, & Ovenbird; also had Veery, Wood Thrush, Baltimore Oriole, & Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Several Great Blue Herons were seen flying over the park. Red-winged Blackbird, Mourning Dove, Brown-headed Cowbird, Gray Catbird, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Black & Turkey Vultures, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Norther Flicker, American Robin, Blue Jay, Eastern Towhee, & Ruby-throated Hummingbird rounded out the group for a total of 39 species. Well worth a few raindrops.
5/2/21 – Wantage Twp (Giselle Smisko) – Around 6 PM, the Barred Owls started calling: the male perched in our yard and the female answering from deeper in the swamp. The Gray Catbirds seem to be all over, singing and checking out the old nest that another bird (perhaps the American Robin nesting nearby) started to pull apart a couple of weeks ago. The Blue Jay flock of at least 15 birds is still refueling at the feeder. We had a Veery and a Baltimore Oriole in the yard. A few days ago, a Solitary Sandpiper was bobbing his tail while exploring our stream.
5/2/21 – Jefferson Twp (Alice Piatek & Alan Gutmore) – Gray Catbirds & Chipping Sparrows have returned to our yard and feeders. We haven’t seen Ruby-throated Hummingbirds yet.
5/2/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – I first heard and then saw a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak up in the oak tree and a second House Wren has joined the singing male.
5/1/21 – Hewitt (Russ Edwards) – Had my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird this evening.
5/1/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – male & female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds showed up at our feeder. At dusk, I heard a White-crowned Sparrow singing and saw a Green Heron fly over the house.
4/29 & 4/30/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Great Horned Owl calling, a House Wren singing above one of the nest boxes, a Gray Catbird, at least 6 White-throated Sparrows, 1 female & 2 male American Goldfinches, and Carolina Wrens. Another Mourning Dove has become a meal for one of the hunting birds.
4/28/21 – Muckshaw Ponds Preserve (Dave Pasake & Sue Predl) – had Black-throated-blue Warbler, American Redstart, Blue-headed Vireo, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.
4/27/21 – Whittingham WMA (Dave Pasake & Sue Predl) – had Yellow-rumped Warblers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Blue-headed Vireo, and Green-winged Teal. Watched a Ruby-throated Hummingbird pester a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Had an Osprey, Wood Ducks, Mallards, and a Great Blue Heron at Big Spring.
4/25/21 – Annual SCBC Jim Zamos Memorial Hyper Humus Nature Walk (Sue Predl, leader) – 4 members joined me and birded Hyper Humus beginning at Warbasse Junction & returning via the Sussex Branch trail from 8:30am – 1:10 pm; we saw 49 species. Great looks at two pair of Blue-winged Teal; saw an Osprey dive down and get a fish, and first-of-the-year looks at Eastern Towhee, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, & Yellow and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Also had nice looks at Swamp Sparrow and a very brief look at a Virginia Rail.
4/24/21 – Hyper Humus (Karyn Cichocki) – had a total of 36 species, including her first-of-the-year Yellow Warbler, plus Palm Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, female Northern Harrier, Double-crested Cormorants, Mute Swans, a flock of at least 20 White-throated Sparrows, and an Eastern Towhee. Had an Eastern Phoebe calling in her Lafayette yard.
4/23/21 – Hyper Humus (Lori Krieger) – saw a male Ruby-crowned Kinglet by the canal and a Yellow-rumped Warbler by Jim’s bench.
4/23/21 – Culvers Lake (Bob Cappuccio) – First Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the season was seen shortly after the feeder was hung. The date ties a record for the earliest date at his yard in 61 years. A friend on Parsons Rd in Hampton Township also had several hummers this morning.
4/21/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – heard the first House Wren of the year singing and was very surprised to see 2 Pine Siskins. Had 2 Chipping Sparrows and a Carolina Wren.
4/19/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – between 5:00 – 6:45 p.m., she had a fall-out of at least 20 Purple Finches. Also had a Brown Thrasher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and male Eastern Towhee.
4/14/21 – Lafayette Twp & Wallkill River NWR (Karyn Cichocki) – had a male American Goldfinch and a male & female Purple Finch at the feeders. A walk at Wallkill River NWR from Owens Station to Liberty Loop produced 41 species. Double-crested Cormorant & Osprey were circling around the pond at the parking lot. Also had Song, Swamp, Field, & Chipping Sparrows, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Rusty Blackbirds with a group of Red-winged Blackbirds, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Green-winged & Blue-winged Teal pairs, vocal Pied-billed Grebes, Common Gallinule, and American Coots, one Greater Yellowlegs, and a few Dark-eyed Juncos along the trail. Other points of interest were seeing a pair of very large snapping turtles mating, a garter snake slithering off the trail, and a variety of frogs calling.
4/8/21 – Wantage Twp (Allison Orsi) – had her first-of-the-season Palm Warblers, plus pickerel frogs and spring peepers calling.
4/7/21 – SCBC “Woodcocks at Wallkill” field trip (Marianne Ofenloch leader) – 6 club members joined me for the second SCBC field trip of the year. We had mostly clear skies, little wind, and comfortable temps as we enjoyed the setting sun and some bird watching together at Wallkill River Nat’l Wildlife Refuge. We saw &/or heard 26 species, including a gobbler (male turkey) calling from the direction of a farm, so we couldn’t confirm if it was a Wild Turkey or a domestic bird. Highlights included very active, calling Killdeer and a Northern Harrier skimming over the fields at Owens Station. We struck out in our quest for Timberdoodles (American Woodcocks), but were surprised and delighted to see and hear Wilson’s Snipe as they flew over and around us. Looking forward to more trips this spring.
4/7/21 – Stillwater Twp (Eileen Mahler) – 6:30 this morning and the skies were diffused with a soft pink, lighting trees at the crest of a hill a soft pink-orange. Then at 7:30, one by one, 16 Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers dropped to the ground to feed for a brief 10 minutes in the field.
4/7/21 – Hyper Humus & Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – The variety of ducks at Hyper Humus was down but there were still good views with a scope of both Green-winged & Blue-winged Teals. Also had 3 Pied-billed Grebes, first-of-the-year Swamp Sparrow and Eastern Phoebe were heard calling, a group of at least 5 Golden-crowned Kinglets, adult & sub-adult Bald Eagle, male Northern Harrier, Fish & American Crows, and Common Raven. Also spotted were a garter snake and 3 northern brown snakes. In the yard, had Chipping Sparrows, Northern Flicker, first-of-the-year Brown Thrasher, and White-throated Sparrows.
4/5/21 – Wallkill River NWR (Russ Edwards) – Seen at Liberty Loop: Sandhill Crane (2), immature Bald Eagle (1), Ring-necked Duck, Green-winged Teal, Red-winged Blackbird, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Turkey Vulture, Mallard, Great Blue Heron
4/1/21 – Culvers Lake (Lee & Terry McQuillin) – Even with crazy winds, waves, and snow showers, 3 Common Loons were swimming and diving like it was a sunny day.
3/31/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had a new overhead yard bird with a pair of Wood Ducks flying over the house with the female calling. Heard the first of the year Northern Mockingbird singing from down the street, as well as the European Starling that makes an Eastern Meadowlark call, the first “yellow” American Goldfinch, with his molt almost completely finished, joined by his girlfriend. and Red-winged Blackbird.
3/29/21 – Newton (Kathy Wilson) – had a red bat flying in our back yard catching bugs for an extended period in the late afternoon.
3/29/21 – Newton (Eileen Mahler) – Had first-of-year Chipping Sparrow at feeders, plus American Goldfinches, 2 Song Sparrows, several Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadees, and Downy Woodpeckers. White-throated Sparrows have not been seen lately.
3/29/21 – Oak Ridge (Alice Piatek) – down to about 2 Dark-eyed Juncos; also had White-throated Sparrows, Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadees, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, and now a few American Robins.
3/29/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – down to about 5 Dark-eyed Juncos. White-throated Sparrow numbers increased and many are in breeding plumage. Also had American Robins, Northern Cardinals and a female Northern Flicker.
3/29/21 – Wantage Twp (Patty Hefferan) – saw two Mute Swans on her lake.
3/26/21 – Culvers Lake & Dingmans Ferry, PA (Bradley White) – had 84 Long-tailed Ducks, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, about 50 scaup, and 5 Horned Grebe far out in the center of the lake. Had his first-of-the-year Chipping Sparrow and Pine Warbler at his feeder and a Golden-crowned Kinglet flitting around the yard.
3/26/21 – Culvers Lake (Fred Weber) – Hundreds of ducks: a few scaup, a male Redhead, about 40 Long-tailed Ducks, Red-breasted Merganser with hundreds of Common Mergansers, & American Wigeon. Also about 30 Horned Grebes. South winds are bringing them in.
3/23/21 – Lafayette Twp & Hyper Humus (Karyn Cichocki) – Originally, I thought that the immature bird that has been hunting in the yard was a Sharp-shinned Hawk, but yesterday it was on our backyard walkway for quite some time, allowing for a good photo shoot and to get it correctly identified as an immature Cooper’s Hawk. Also had a pair of Carolina Wrens, American Robins, Northern Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows, a male Eastern Bluebird calling, and Downy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers. At Hyper Humus, had about 6 Ring-necked Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, 3 American Black Ducks, a pair of Pied-billed Grebes, Song Sparrows, and numerous Canada Geese and Mute Swans.
3/20/21 – Culvers Lake (Lee & Terry McQuillin) – The Bald Eagles are at it again. An adult caught a fish and landed on the ice to eat it, closely followed by a juvenile who stole it away. The adult wrangled it back and re-dropped it on the ice as another juvenile swooped in. There was some animated action when the first juvenile picked up the fish and took off, but dropped the fish into the lake. At that point the other two split up to sit at different spots on the ice. The second juvenile circled the other two a few times, and then took off in flight. The first juvenile stayed for a while, but the adult stayed for at least an hour.
3/19/21 – Culvers Lake (Lee & Terry McQuillin) – continue to be entertained by the local Bald Eagles, both adult and juvenile. Yesterday, they watched an adult eat a scrap of food on the ice before flying off. This morning, they had 2 juveniles visiting the same spot on the ice within minutes of each other. The spot looks like open water, but is apparently very clear ice. Both eagles tried to peck and jump on the spot to get at something. One even tried a “skating” technique, sliding side to side like a speed skater. Alas, they both came up empty. Coinciding with the eagle activity was some vying for position from the Mute Swans. The migrating birds (at least 6 this morning) taunt our local pair by landing close by. “Papa” then chases them until the birds are a safe distance away from his “territory.” This can go on all day!
3/19/21 – Hampton Twp (Sue Predl & Dave Pasake) – walked along The Great Valley Trail and were treated to spring peepers, two Eastern Phoebes, a Hairy Woodpecker, and a half dozen or so American Woodcocks peenting and flying around at dusk.
3/18/21 – Culvers Lake (Lee & Terry McQuillin) – have seen Bald Eagles all day long. The big count was 5 juveniles and 1 adult. They alternate between flying and standing on the ice. Those on the ice have been practicing social skills…posturing, hopping, wing shaking, chatting, attempting to fish, etc.
3/17/21 – SCBC “Spring-ish Lakes Tour” (Marianne Ofenloch leader) – 5 club members joined me for the first SCBC field trip of the year. Seasonal temps & lack of wind were helpful, though light mist & fogged optics sometimes made viewing a bit challenging. We spent most of our time in Swartswood State Park, viewing birds on both lakes from several locations. Highlights included 2 active immature Bald Eagles over Swartswood Lake, 3 Horned Grebes (2 in breeding plumage) close to the shore, and a small flock of 16 Cedar Waxwings near the park beach. After we had scope views of the Bald Eagle pair and other birds at Little Swartswood Lake, we took a short lunch break before heading to Paulinskill Lake & the SC Homestead pond (both fairly quiet). Culvers Lake is still mostly frozen, though the coming rain might change that. We saw &/or heard a total of 37 species & enjoyed a day in the field again.
3/16/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had both the adult female Cooper’s Hawk and an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk hunting in the yard, heard an Eastern Bluebird calling, and also had an American Robin, 4 Song Sparrows, the first Chipping Sparrow of the year, White-throated Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos.
3/15/21 – Culvers Lake (Lee & Terry McQuillin) – watched an otter playing on the ice (a rare treat). He dove in and caught a pretty good sized fish that he brought onto the ice to eat. Within seconds, a Bald Eagle dove down and snatched the fish away. The poor otter dove back in, but kept popping up to see if the eagle and his food were still there. A few minutes later, a very large juvenile Bald Eagle swooped down and had some action with the adult. They were, for no better word, wrestling. They were hopping and flapping their wings very aggressively, with the juvenile looking like it had the advantage. The fight stopped abruptly and the juvenile took off, leaving the adult to enjoy his snatched catch.
3/15/21 – Belvidere (Dave Pasake & Sue Predl) – While out for a ride in Warren County, they stopped at Belvidere Boat Launch on Delaware River and had their first-of-year Tree Swallows. At least 100 birds were in a large flock above the trees and river, perhaps hawking an invertebrate hatch.
3/15/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had a female Cooper’s Hawk eating something under a bush. She checked it later and found remains of what she believes was a Ring-necked Pheasant.
3/14/21 – Search for Eagles trip (Jack Padalino leader) -The season’s final Brandwein Field Trip took place in the Delaware Valley Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. It was a clear sunny day, then partially cloudy, and at the confluence of the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers we had a snow squall. We began by watching feeder birds at PEEC where skeins of Canada Geese flew high above heading north. We counted a half dozen skeins of geese with a total of over 600 birds during the day. Nine participants, wearing face covering and social distancing, logged 146 miles in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Upper Delaware Scenic River from PEEC to the Bushkill Access and the trip’s conclusion at the headwaters of the Lackawaxen River. 31 species of birds were seen, including 16 Bald Eagles (12 adults and 4 juveniles,) 17 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Cooper’s Hawk, and 3 Common Ravens.
3/13/21 – Culvers Lake (Marianne Ofenloch) – had snowdrops in bloom. Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows numbers have been decreasing, while Common Grackles, American Robins, and House Sparrows are increasing. On Friday night after sunset, she saw and heard a bat that was flying overhead in the Culvers Lake area.
3/12/21 – Wallkill River NWR, Liberty Marsh (Karyn Cichocki, Allison Orsi, & Deborah Bifulco) – had 2 immature and 1 adult Bald Eagle, many American Crows, Ring-billed Gulls, Mallard, American Black Duck, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Common Merganser, & Hooded Mergansers. They also saw a turtle sunning itself, heard the first spring peeper of the year, and watched a muskrat feeding on the ice.
3/11/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – a female Cooper’s Hawk tried to catch a Ring-necked Pheasant. Also had the first American Robins of the year.
3/9/21 – Pike County, PA (Jack Padalino) – At 3:30pm, I was watching a female Bald Eagle at Rt 209 at Zimmerman Flats. Along the ridge was a large blackish-brown bird with a bright white tail with a broad dark terminal band. The bird had large white wing patches at the base of its inner primary and secondary feathers. A Golden Eagle in Spring migration. Most of these birds migrate in March. It was migrating along the ridge where updrafts were favorable during this 55 degree bright sunny day.
3/9/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – heard the Red-winged Blackbirds calling and saw groups of American Crows.
3/7/21 – Search for Eagles trip (Jack Padalino leader) – The trip took place in the Delaware Valley from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It was a cold, partly cloudy day with lots of snow on the ground. All roads were clear and navigable. We began by watching feeder birds including Hairy Woodpeckers, Dark-eyed Junco, Blue Jays, and Pileated Woodpecker among others. Six participants, wearing face covering and social distancing logged 144 miles in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Upper Delaware Scenic River from PEEC to the Bushkill Access and the trip’s conclusion at the headwaters of the Lackawaxen River. 33 species of birds were seen, including 15 Bald Eagles (10 adults and 5 juveniles), 12 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Cooper’s Hawk, 2 Common Ravens, and a Common Loon.
3/4/21 – various locations (Karyn Cichocki) – There were flocks of American Robins, Eastern Bluebirds, and Cedar Waxwings along the parking lot embankment at Swartswood State Park, and a Red-shouldered Hawk flew across the road. Paulinskill Lake had Common & Hooded Mergansers, American Black Ducks, Bufflehead, Ring-necked & Wood Ducks, and Mallards along with lots of Canada Geese. Also spotted flying were two pairs of either Green-winged or Blue-winged Teal, but they were too far away for me to be able to make a positive ID. In Lafayette Twp, had Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and about 100 American Crows.
2/24/21 – Wantage Twp (Giselle Smisko) – (night) Heard at least two Killdeer calling. Happy to hear the Red-winged Blackbirds calling from the swamp on the edge of our yard, Northern Cardinals singing, and a few Common Grackles have shown up at the feeder.
2/26/21 – (Marianne Ofenloch) – One of the male Eastern Bluebirds returned to the mealworm cake feeder this morning…after I retrieved one of the two cakes that had fallen on the ground. The other cake was carried off by an annoyingly brilliant gray squirrel who finally figured out how to open the feeder door.
2/24/21 – Wantage & Lafayette Twps (Karyn Cichocki) – on Roy Rd. in Wantage, saw 1 adult & 2 immature White-crowned Sparrows. In Lafayette, Red-bellied & Downy Woodpeckers have started drumming on the local trees and the Red-bellied has also used our gutter. Also had Northern Cardinal, Dark-eyed Junco, Tufted Titmice, Common Grackles, and Red-wing Blackbirds.
2/24/21 – Fredon Twp (Sharon & Wade Wander) – This Red-shouldered Hawk (a State Endangered local breeder) has been hanging around our yard ever since the deep snow more than 3 weeks ago made hunting small mammals almost impossible. It didn’t seem to be able to hunt birds successfully despite the scores of Dark-eyed Juncos and a big flock of mixed blackbirds that have been inundating our yard. But it must have been watching the Common Grackles and woodpeckers feasting on our beef suet, and today it made its move and cleaned out a full cage that lacked a top. We hope this new food source helps the bird make it through these tough times.
2/19/21 (Marianne Ofenloch) – had Eastern Bluebirds at a mealworm feeder. Competition from Blue Jays and gray squirrels kept them moving. After a hawk (most likely a Cooper’s Hawk) nabbed a Mourning Dove in the same tree from which the feeder hangs, the bluebirds have not returned for a worm.
2/14/21 – Search for Eagles trip (Jack Padalino, leader) – The season’s third trip took place in the Delaware Valley from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The temp at the start was 19 degrees and at the finish 30 degrees. It was a cloud-covered, gray day with 31 inches of snow on the ground; however, all roads were clear and navigable. We began by watching feeder birds including two Red-shouldered Hawks at PEEC, Hairy Woodpeckers, Dark-eyed Junco, Blue Jays, and Pileated Woodpecker among others. Total of 35 species of birds were seen on the trip. Nine participants, wearing face covering and social distancing, logged 141 miles in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Upper Delaware Scenic River from PEEC to the Bushkill Access and the trip’s conclusion at the headwaters of the Lackawaxen River.
2/14/21 – various locations (Don & Donna Traylor) – Phil Hardin Rd in Fredon Twp had 44+ Horned Larks working the spread manure areas. Compton Rd in Wantage Twp had male and female Pileated Woodpeckers about 20 ft from the road. 25+ Wild Turkeys were walking down Beemer Rd near the Ricker farm (also in Wantage). The feeders at the Cosh Farm on Sally Hardin Rd had a good mix of typical feeder birds including American Tree Sparrow. There were Dark-eyed Juncos along most roads trying to feed. There were many Red-tailed Hawks no matter where we were. The bonus was at Kuperus Meadows Farm on County Route 651 (Unionville Rd) in Wantage. There was a mixed flock of at least 120+ Horned Larks and 15+ Snow Buntings at the manure spread close to the road (be careful parking).
2/14/21 – (Marianne Ofenloch) – Has had a pair of House Finches, an American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Juncos (decreasing), 3 Song Sparrows, 2 Cooper’s Hawks, Tufted Titmice, and Black-capped Chickadees. An eastern cottontail was spotted for the first time since the deep snowfall.
2/7/21 – Fredon Twp (Bob & Kathy Wilson) – saw a Snow Bunting in their neighborhood. One was recently reported on Phil Hardin Rd. Also saw Eastern Bluebirds and a Red-tailed Hawk flying in our neighborhood, hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and European Starlings, and a record 8 Northern Cardinals.
2/5/21 – Andover Twp (Deborah Bifulco) – spotted 3 Common Redpolls, all either females or immature birds, at the feeders just outside the window. They seemed to be traveling with some American Goldfinches. Also had a big flock of 40-50 Common Grackles followed by about 20 Red-winged Blackbirds and several Brown-headed Cowbirds, 5 Song Sparrows, and 1 American Tree Sparrow. The leucistic Dark-eyed Junco is still here as well as a piebald leucistic White-throated Sparrow.
2/5/21 – Frankford Twp (Fred Weber) – Adult White-crowned Sparrow, corner Meyer Rd. and Plains Rd., brushy thicket by barn yard. Frankford Plains area used to host 15-20 White-crowneds, whittled down to 1 or 2 in recent winters. They’re taking a hit from neonic pesticides because they’re attracted to agricultural areas during migration.
2/3/21 – Lafayette Twp etc. (Karyn Cichocki) – had an American Tree Sparrow along with the crowd of Mourning Doves, White-throated Sparrows, & Dark-eyed Juncos. The Song Sparrow count is up to 2 and American Goldfinches up to 3. We had a female Brown-headed Cowbird. I saw large flocks of mixed blackbirds on various roads in Augusta and Lafayette.
2/3/21 – Oak Ridge (Alice Piatek) – had Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, some European Starlings, Northern Cardinals, Mourning Doves, and Blue Jays.
2/3/21 – Andover Twp (Deborah Bifulco) – had 2 American Tree Sparrows, 2 Song Sparrows, 20 or more Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles, European Starlings, a handful of Brown-headed Cowbirds, and 30 or more Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows each day. The leucistic Dark-eyed Junco that showed up on 31 December is still a daily visitor in the yard.
2/2/21 – Fredon Twp (Wade & Sharon Wander) – saw an adult female Cooper’s Hawk feeding on a victim (probably a Common Grackle) in our back yard. It is a female because of its large size (compare it to the American Crow in the foreground). While it was feeding, most of the other birds returned, some within a few feet of the hawk. Photos were taken through a window and hundreds of snow flakes. More than 100 Dark-eyed Juncos and more than 20 White-throated Sparrows, many Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, 1 Song Sparrow, and the other usual suspects, but no Fox Sparrows or American Tree Sparrows, both of which used to be regular visitors following snowstorms.
2/1 & 2/2/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had 5 male & 2 female Northern Cardinals, a Common Grackle, a male Red-winged Blackbird, 3 Brown-headed Cowbirds (2 males 1 female), and 2 American Goldfinches along with the usual group of many Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Mourning Doves, House Sparrows, a 2 House Finches, and a White-breasted Nuthatch. The suet feeder was visited by both pairs of Downy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers. I was happy to see the Carolina Wren return to pick at the door frame and boot scraper.
1/30/21 – Annual Dr. S. Marie Kuhnen Memorial NJ North Coast Field Trip (Jack Padalino, leader) – One SCBC member joined me; we logged 289 miles from & to Ross’s Corner from 7:30 a.m. through 7:30 p.m. Temps ranged from 2 to 31 degrees Fahrenheit; winds from the NW were btwn 10-30 mph. The shore tour began at Manasquan Inlet’s south jetty Point Pleasant Beach, where there was an abundance of Common Loons as well as a Long-tailed Ducks (Oldsquaw.) Notable among the 43 bird species observed were Razorbills, Black Scoter, as well as a Pacific Loon. Also seen: Red-throated Loon, Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, many Mute Swans & Brant at Shark River, Canada Goose, 15 duck species – American Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, American Black Duck, Redhead, Greater & Lesser Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, many Common Eider, a King Eider, Black Scoters, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser & many Hooded Mergansers, & Ruddy Duck. American Coot. Shorebirds: Purple Sandpiper & Sanderling. Five gulls: Great Black-backed, Bonaparte’s, Herring, Lesser Black-backed, & Ring-billed. Three Razorbills spotted from Manasquan inlet. Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Blue Jay, American & Fish Crows, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle, House Finch, & House Sparrow.
1/29/21 – Fredon Twp (Wade & Sharon Wander) – has had Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and this male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at suet and sunflower seeds, but his latest feeding favorite is a cake of dried mealworms and sunflower hearts. This is also a big hit with Downy Woodpeckers, Dark-eyed Juncos, Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens, and the occasional American Goldfinch. It was so popular that we had to put out 3 more cakes.
1/22/21 – Lafayette Twp (Karyn Cichocki) – had 13 Mourning Doves, a Cooper’s Hawk, & a Brown Creeper foraging on the various tree trunks in the front yard. I haven’t seen one in the yard in several years.
1/20/21 – Wawayanda State Park & Hewitt yard (Russ Edwards) – Belted Kingfisher at main road, bench overlooking wetlands (opposite campsite road). Red-breasted Nuthatch continues intermittently at feeders. Note: NJDEP is culling the wooded areas around campsites and old iron furnace in effort to control infestation of Emerald Ash Borer.
1/14/21 – Wallkill River NWR (Mike Tracy) – at the Liberty Loop, saw a few Northern Harriers, a few Red-shouldered Hawks including a young bird that is very photo friendly, & a Rough-legged Hawk. Was a bit surprised to find an Eastern Phoebe in the section where the trail passes through the area with trees on both sides; it stayed high up in the trees.
1/14/21 – Newton; Lafayette & Frankford Twps (Karyn Cichocki) – at least 100 Mourning Doves on the high tension wires across from Kohls in Newton; last week, between 30-40 on the wires near the intersection of Warbasse Junction Rd. & Rt. 94 on two days that I went by there. A flock of about 1,000 Common Grackles feeding in the corn field on Augusta Hill Rd. just south of Rt. 206 in Augusta. Here at home in Lafayette, we had a Cooper’s Hawk.
1/12/21 – SCMUA, Lafayette Twp (Fred Weber) – Immature Glaucous Gull (after almost 2 hours of looking) and adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. (Please follow guidelines for birding at SCMUA as posted elsewhere on this website.)
1/12/21 – Fredon Twp (Sharon & Wade Wander) – The red phase Eastern Screech-Owl is back in the tree cavity that it occupied last year. Once or twice last year we saw a gray phase bird in the same cavity. We see or hear Red-shouldered Hawks from our yard almost daily. For many years, a pair nested in the forest fragment next to our house. After this photo was taken of one adult, we woke the next morning to two sitting side-by-side in a large sugar maple about 70 feet from our front door.
1/12/21 – (Marianne Ofenloch) – has had many White-throated Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, few Dark-eyed Juncos, and the various finches have been sparse. Over the last 2 days, an adult Cooper’s Hawk has been making attack runs in the yard in the late afternoon.
1/10/21 – Search for Eagles trip (Jack Padalino leader) – It was a pleasant sunny day that began with watching feeder birds including Hairy Woodpeckers, Dark-eyed Junco, Blue Jays, and Pileated Woodpecker among others. 16 participants, wearing face covering and social distancing, logged 151 miles in the Delaware Water Gap Nat’l Rec. Area and Upper Delaware Scenic River from PEEC to the Bushkill Access and the trip’s conclusion at the headwaters of the Lackawaxen River. 31 species of birds were seen, including 24 Bald Eagles (BE), 8 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, and 3 Common Ravens.
1/5/21 – Oak Ridge (Alice Piatek & Alan Gutmore) – For more than 3 weeks, we have had only a few of our usual visitors occasionally at our feeders: Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Northern Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows, White-breasted Nuthatches, woodpeckers, Blue Jays.
1/1/2021 – Frankford Twp (Don & Donna Traylor) – Great Horned Owl calling at 12:20 am; 14 more yard birds added to the growing yearly list including 20 Mourning Doves, 12 American Goldfinch, 15 House Finches, numerous Dark-eyed Juncos, Red-tailed Hawk, White-breasted Nuthatch, Downy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker, & Black-capped Chickadee (plus our mink in the stream). Swartswood Lake: American Wigeon, Ring-necked duck, scaup sp., Mallard, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, American Black Duck, Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, White-throated & Song Sparrows, Eastern Bluebirds, & a calling Red-shouldered Hawk. A mature Bald Eagle was at Little Swartswood and an immature at Swartswood. Culvers Lake: added Pied-billed Grebe & Mute Swan. Roy Road in Wantage: Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Red-shouldered Hawk. We finished the first day of the year with 41 species.