Today was a very successful day of birding in Hunterdon Co. We began the afternoon near the Solberg Airport where there were no new life species, but I did pick up Northern Mockingbird, American Kestrel, and Northern Harrier for 2013.
We were also hoping for a Ring-necked Pheasant a friend had surprised one there a few days ago, but instead we found the remains of at least 2-3 Ring-necked Pheasants and one wild turkey. In total there were seven or so carcasses. The area has been a good one for hawks and owls alike as we found owl pellets near one set of remains, and he has had luck finding short-eared owls in the vicinity.
After a light rain, we changed locations and headed up to Round Valley were we struck gold. We had debated between stopping for food or pushing onward. As we arrived, I joked, “We are staying until we find a Common Loon – even if it means ordering a pizza to Round Valley.” Before the car was even in park, he exclaimed “Look, a loon!” and he presented me with a loon. Truth be told, I didn’t believe him and almost refused to look the third times. It was there waiting for us at the boat ramp. In fact there were two; one of whom swallowed a very large fish.
While we were scanning the swimming area, he directed the scope on a pair of birds, urging me to describe them. I looked at them…. a dark brownish-red head, gray body, finishing in black…. Redhead. New life species!
Black Vulture (1)
Turkey Vulture (5)
Red-tailed Hawk (5)
Northern Mockingbird (4)
Common Raven (1)
American Kestrel (1)
Eastern Bluebird (6)
Carolina Chickadee (1) – trills faster than its northern cousin
Carolina Wren (1)
A Murder of American Crows
Northern Harrier (3) – females only
Ring-neck Pheasant (heard only)
Turkey VultureRed-tailed HawkAmerican Coot
Ring-necked Duck (1)
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Common Loon (2)
New Life Species total: 2
New 2013 Species: 10