Another February Weekend

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This was a cool, sometimes rainy, sometimes windy weekend in New Jersey.  But there are still a few winter rarities being reported around the state and I wanted to give it my best shot to get a many as I could.

Saturday morning I was up at 4AM and out the door just after 5AM to start my 75 mile drive to Brigantine Island.  I was headed for a small wildlife refuge that promised Marbled Godwit.  I had never been there before and the only thing I knew for certain was that the area is closed to vehicles. Arriving at daylight in a steady light rain, I pulled on my rain gear, grabbed my binoculars and scope, and started my walk to the beach.   My destination was just over a small sand dune, which provided my with great view and enough cover so as not to flush the feeding shore birds into flight.   It took a bit of searching throught the salt marsh grasses before I noticed a Marbled Godwit peaking out at me.  Success!

After exploring and birding for about an hour, I also had American Oystercatcher, “western” Willet, and a Black-Crowned Night-Heron (another first for 2013).  Arriving back at the car, the rain had subsided enough that I grabbed my camera and headed back to the refuge’s entrance.  I had spotted a Belted Kingfisher and wanted to try for a photo.  My effort is posted at the top of this page.

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My next stop was Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area to search for a reported Golden Eagle.  I had plenty of great birds, even in the wind and rain, but no Golden Eagle.  I finally decided to abandon my search and headed toward home.  A quick stop to look for a reported Yellow-headed Blackbird yielded hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds and European Starling, but nothing else.

So a rainy Saturday morning yielded two more species for my count.  Not bad for February birding!   I have several target birds for Sunday, too and am looking forward to a dryer day, if not much warmer.  But those results will wait for another post!

Until then, Good Birding!

Greg

 

 

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