Wow! WILSON’S PHALAROPE at DeKorte, 8/15/16


~Love, love, loved this bird! WILSON’S PHALAROPE at DeKorte Park, 8/15/16.~

Okay, so at what point do I change the name of this blog to Bergen Birding? Over the weekend, another GREAT bird – a WILSON’S PHALAROPE, was located at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. I didn’t go for it then, I but today after work, I ran for the bird and luckily the bird not only stuck around, it was very accommodating for photos. I was talking with Chris Takacs while viewing the bird, and he indicated that this was likely a young bird. The bird is absolutely beautiful, white as white can be with a long very thin and pointy bill. It fed nearly the entire time I was there, only stopping to preen and then relax for a short time. This is the second time I’ve seen a Wilson’s Phalarope, my lifer was at the Liberty Loop back in April of 2013.

Huge thanks to both Maria Loukeris and Denise Farrel, who kept me posted with the alerts for this bird today.

~Beautiful bird. Wilson’s Phalarope at DeKorte Park, 8/15/16.~
~WIPH at DeKorte, 8/15/16.~
~I had to include at least one water flick shot. Wilson’s Phalarope at DeKorte Park, 8/15/16.~
~There were many other shorebirds close by too, but I barely paused to take their photos. Lesser Yellowlegs at DeKorte Park, 8/15/16. ~
~And for comparison, a Greater Yellowlegs at DeKorte Park 8/15/16.~
~This is not a bird I’ve been this close to before. Short-billed Dowitcher at DeKorte, 8/15/16.

Excellent Birding at DeKorte, 8/6/16





~A juvenile LEAST BITTERN hunting at DeKorte Park, 8/6/16. I can’t get enough of this bird! ~

Birding in Orange County has been a little bit slow all week, so Kyle, Linda, Maria, and I piled into my Volkswagen Golf and headed south to Richard W. DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. We all seemed to be in the same mood, ready spend the morning at a spot that has no shortage of birds and also offers up great photo opportunities. We were not disappointed and had 41 species for the outing. LEAST BITTERNS were high on the priority list – we were hoping to get Kyle his lifer, which we achieved through a fly-by very early on. We saw several LEBI while were there, and we spent some quality time viewing and photographing one young bird that was in nice light and wasn’t too far away.

~These Semipalmated Sandpipers are sharp looking to me. Look how white this bird is in spite of foraging in the mud all day long! DeKorte Park, 8/6/16.~

Other highlights included a nice look at a couple of male Ruddy Ducks in breeding plumage, and a young, large, (probably a female) Peregrine Falcon that absolutely ripped onto the scene and took what appeared to be a Forster’s Tern. Those PEFAs are killing machines and are fascinating to watch in action. For shorebirds, we had what I suspect are the expected species – Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpipers, Short-billed Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs, and Lesser Yellowlegs. Other good birds included three Black-crowned Night-herons, a couple of Osprey, two Great Black-backed Gulls, and several Snowy Egrets. It was an excellent morning of birding in great company!

~Beautiful Bird. A male Ruddy Duck at DeKorte Park, 8/6/16.~
~An acrobatic Forster’s Tern hunting at DeKorte Park, 8/6/16.~
~One of my favorites! I’ve been wanting to get some photos of these guys in OC, but it hasn’t panned out just yet. Black-crowned Night-heron at DeKorte Park, 8/6/16.~
~A young Forster’s Tern cruising overhead at DeKorte Park, 8/6/16. I’m not sure if other folks find this plumage as attractive as I do, but I think this is a good looking bird.







~Wow! RUFF at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst NJ, 8/21/16.~

QUICK POST: I’m going to try to keep this short because it’s late and I’m tired. It’s remarkable to me how much luck plays a part in birding. After work today, thanks to some prodding from Maria Loukeris, I ran for the RUFF that has been reported in recent days out at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. I searched for the bird for over 2 1/2 hours from the Transco Trail, along with several other birders and then I decided to head home. On my way back to my car, I ran into Chris Takacs on the boardwalk; Chris had originally located the bird over a week ago. While we were talking, a group of yellowlegs flew over and Chris commented that it looked like the Ruff might have been in with them. Moments later, he received a text – he was right, the Ruff had just come in! We headed back out to the Transco Trail and sure enough the bird was still present! What an incredible bird, and I was so lucky to get it! I got great scope views and tried to take some photos and video – none came out very well, but I did get to document it. The Ruff is life bird #368 for me. Huge thanks to Maria for letting me know the bird had been relocated today, and also to Chris Takacs for all his help out there.



-BARNACLE GOOSE in Ramsey NJ, Mirror Lake Area, 12/17/14.
-BARNACLE GOOSE in Ramsey NJ, Mirror Lake Area, 12/17/14.

I got out of work a little bit late this afternoon, but I still had time to try for the BARNACLE GOOSE which had been reported in Ramsey, New Jersey on eBird. I tried for the bird yesterday without any luck, but today it worked out great. I got my lifer BAGO and it did not disappoint – what a super bird! I was able to get very good looks and my photos, while quite grainy due to the low light, still made me very happy. The Barnacle Goose has been sort of a nemesis bird for me. There have been a few Barnacle Geese that have been reported in the NY/NJ area in the past several years. There was one in Orange County back in 2012 that eluded me as did the one in the Bronx last year (which I only tried for one time). There was a Barnacle Goose reported at this same location last year and I tried for it several times but struck out each time. So, it was VERY satisfying to finally see this bird. If you are planning to go for this bird, please contact me and I will give you details.

– Another look at the BARNACLE GOOSE in Bergen County today, 12/17/14.

Horned Larks 11/1/13

Horned Lark at Skinner Lane, 11/1/13.
Horned Lark at Skinner Lane, 11/1/13.

Today’s early rain gave way to beautiful sunny skies in the evening, so I made my way out to Skinner Lane after work. The flock of Horned Larks continues at Skinner Lane with 2 Snow Buntings among them. Unfortunately the Snow Buntings never got close enough for photos, but I did get some Horned Larks that were not too far away. I hope these birds stick around because I would love to get some really close shots.

Skinner Lane Horned Lark, 11/1/13.
Skinner Lane Horned Lark, 11/1/13.

Bergen County American Avocet

_MG_3494After work today, I drove over to the Clay Avenue Wetlands, located in Lyndhurst NJ. I had received a rare bird alert email from eBird, indicating that an American Avocet had been seen at the wetlands. The bird was easily located and what a beautiful bird it is! Unfortunately the bird was pretty heavily backlit and there are not many spots to view the birds from, which made taking photos difficult. I am not really thrilled with the above photo for various reasons, but I had to post this awesome bird. I hope to get back in the morning when the sun will be at my back. Stay tuned for more photos.

Here’s one more from today: _MG_3429

Pink-footed Goose!

On Monday evening after work, I caught up with the Pink-footed Goose that has been seen recently at Overpeck Park in Bergen County NJ. I found the bird on a soccer field with about 60 Canada Geese.

I find this bird to be really beautiful. Pink-footed Goose at Overpeck Park 2-4-13.
I find this bird to be really beautiful. Pink-footed Goose at Overpeck Park 2-4-13.
PFGO with CAGO at Overpeck Park 2-4-13.
Some more Canada Geese came in for a landing while I was there.
Some more Canada Geese came in for a landing to join the party…
One more of the PFGO with CAGO at Overpeck Park in Bergen County NJ 2-4-13




Eurasian Wigeon – Darlington Park

Female Eurasian Wigeon at Darlington Park 10-26-12

After work today I went to Darlington Park in Bergen County NJ looking for a female Eurasian Wigeon that had been reported on eBird. Reports said that the bird was among 15 American Wigeon. I was happy to see that the birds were still present. It took me a little while to figure out which one was the Eurasian Wigeon, but once I did it was pretty obvious. I wonder if I had happened upon this group of birds without any prior knowledge if I would have picked out the Eurasian Wigeon among the American Wigeons? I’m not so sure I would have, or if I did I probably would not have had a clue what it was.  Here are some photos from the day –  I was disappointed because it was yet another very gray day that I was out birding in…

The female Eurasian Wigeon and this male American Wigeon were inseparable. They followed each other all around the lake.
Female Eurasian Wigeon and Female American Wigeon.
All of these birds seemed to have some vegetation hanging off their bills at one time or another.
A couple pairs of American Wigeons.

There was also a couple of Pied-billed Grebes present. One was larger and light colored while the other was darker and smaller – noticeably shorter at all times.  I really enjoy these birds, I had fun just watching them interact with one another.

Tufted Titmice at Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve

I spent some time yesterday at the Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve in Bergen County, New Jersey (see link). The Tufted Titmice put on a show for me. Many thanks to Ken McDermott for helping me figure out who is who in these photos:

An immature Tufted Titmouse watches an adult fly off.


I was pleasantly surprised by this photo. It was taken in low light with a shutter speed of only 1/125th of a second and no monopod.
An immature Tufted Titmouse, looking to be fed, performs the wing-quiver.
Immature Tufted Titmouse.
Food exchange.

Looking For Green Herons

I have been running around lately trying to see a Green Heron. There are certain birds that just get in my head and I have to try and find them, right now it’s the Green Heron. At this time last year,  I had already seen several, but I’ve had no luck so far this year. I saw on eBird that a Green Heron had been sighted recently at The Celery Farm, which is a 107 acre freshwater wetland in Allendale, New Jersey. I made it out there yesterday – it is just ten minutes from my work. Many species of bird can be found there, I saw and identified seventeen, but I did not get my Green Heron:

  • Canada Goose
  • Mute Swan
  • Mallard
  • Wood Duck
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Mourning Dove
  • American Crow
  • Tree Swallows
  • American Robin
  • Gray Catbird
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Song Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Common Grackle
  • American Goldfinch

I did hear what I thought was a Red-shouldered Hawk when I first arrived, but I never saw the bird and I am not positive about the call. I spent just over an hour there and I saw my first Gray Catbirds and Yellow Warblers of the season. Here’s a Yellow Warbler singing:

Yellow Warbler Singing