Showing posts from January, 2012

Jan 8 - good January birds

Doug Gochfeld and I birded some southern CT location on Sunday morning from 0730 to 1230. We started off in Wallingford searching for geese around MacKenzie Reservoir. We had the continuing adult Greenland GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE and two "Richardson's" CACKLING GEESE. Other waterfowl on the res included a pair of LESSER SCAUP. Greater White-fronted Goose From there we moved toward the coast in search of lingering or rare passerines. Our first stop was at Ora Ave/Proto Dr in East Haven. The place was birdy but nothing too unusual around. Highlights included both kinglets, Gray Catbird, and Savannah Sparrow. We finished at East Shore Park in New Haven, locally famous for lingering warblers and swallows. Sure enough we found the following lingerers: 3 (!) NASHVILLE WARBLERS, 4 Yellow-rumped Warblers, a "Western" Palm Warbler, and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. On our walk back from the western border of the park, a NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW flew in and began to fe

Jan 7 - interesting Herring Gull at the landfill

On Saturday afternoon a group of us visited the Windsor-Bloomfield Landfill. We had three really nice-looking "Kumlien's" Iceland Gulls (first cycle, second cycle, adult), but I found the gull photo'd below the most interesting of the day. It's a first cycle "Herring" Gull. But it shows some features more in line with Old World taxa (perhaps European Herring Gull) than with your typical smithsonianus American Herring Gull. The bird stuck out among the American HERGs of various ages by its frosty upperparts with thinly barred first-winter scapulars and checkered greater coverts. A closer look revealed pointy blackish primaries and a mostly black bill, and a blackish tail band of unknown width. Tertials were strongly notched laterally and had broad white tips distally. Undertail coverts barred dark and white, with white bars averaging wider than the dark ones. In flight, we see an obvious pale inner primary window. The inner primaries are strikingly patter

Book Review: "The Birds of New Jersey: Status and Distribution"

[Disclosure: A free copy of this book was provided by Princeton University Press for unbiased review.] Status and distribution. Those two words probably excite me more than I should admit. If you don’t feel the same way, you might wonder why I would be eager to review this book. I don’t live in New Jersey. I rarely bird in New Jersey. And let’s face it, New Jersey simply leaves a lot to be desired. Just ask former NY Governor Paterson . But if you are like me (you poor, poor bastard), you live for this stuff. “The Birds of New Jersey: Status and Distribution” (paperback, 308 pages) by William J. Boyle, Jr. is a comprehensive look at the documented S&D of New Jersey’s avifauna. This type of book has been done before for many states – every state really should have a work like this at its disposal. The book starts with an introduction, proceeds to the annotated species list, and concludes with a few appendices. The intro is straightforward and to-the-point. We are given a summary