Great Birding, Great Swamp

On Thursday, we made our second annual spring pilgrimage to the birding mecca known as Great Swamp.  The weather was indecisively cool and drizzly, threatening rain, but never quite following through.

The trip wasn’t so much about photos – hard to do when the birds remain out of sight, but really working on birding by ear.  Like last year, Great Swamp was filled with a resounding refrain of Wood Thrushes, Ovenbirds, Northern Waterthrush, and Veeries.  Throughout this repertoire we could pick out a round of vireos: Red-eyed, Warbling, and Yellow-throated. Pileated accompanied by Red-bellied, Downy and  Northern Flicker for percussion. Stepping in for the strings we had Eastern Wood-Pewees, Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Phoebe, Willow Flycatcher and a lone Arcadian Flycatcher*.  Warblers carried the ever changing melody and we meandered.  Over the course of the day we picked up Blue-winged, Black-and-white, Tennessee, Common Yellow-throat, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-sided*, Blackpoll, Canada*, and Wilson’s*.

For the day, my records indicate I had  74 species though I may be missing one or two (will verify with paper records at some point).  There were a few I didn’t get on and thus didn’t think should count for either ebird or the bet.

However, I did get a few photos, so enjoy:

Wood Thursh. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ. Photo taken on May 15, 2014.

Wood Thrush. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ. Photo taken on May 15, 2014.

First Eastern Bluebird of the year. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ. Photo taken on May 15, 2014.

First Eastern Bluebird of the year. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ. Photo taken on May 15, 2014.

Bobolink in surprising microhabitat. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ. Photo taken on May 15, 2014.

Bobolink in surprising microhabitat. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NJ. Photo taken on May 15, 2014.