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Johnson Sod Farm,
Cumberland County, NJ

The Johnson Sod Farm offers the most extensive short-grass shorebirding in south Jersey, if not in the region as a whole. While the season there is short, it can be productive. Usually by early July the first southbound Upland Sandpipers can be found, with the peak flight in early to mid August. American Golden-Plover rarely occurs before mid August and peaks around the beginning of September. A Pacific Golden Plover, only the second east coast record, was found here Sept 4, 2001.

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper period usually runs from about August 20th through the first few days of September; occasionally an individual is found as early as August 1st. Other shorebirds usually found on site include: Black-bellied Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper and both yellowlegs.
Nearby sites -
The Johnson Farm target birds do not confine themselves to only the sod farm. Some days, even some years, more individuals can be found in the farm fields to the northwest of the sod farm. Drive the back roads looking for recently hayed alfalfa and newly plowed fields. The alfalfa is very attractive to Upland Sandpipers, and the largest flocks of American Golden-Plover occur in plowed fields. This general area, including as far as Commissioners Pike, can hold tens of thousands of Snow Geese during the cold season months. Lurking within these flocks can be one or more Ross' Geese. Don't ignore any large blackbird flocks. Yellow-headed Blackbirds have been seen numerous times. Check the Horned Lark flocks in manured fields for Lapland Longspur; larks breed at Johnson Sod Farm.

~ Ward Dasey

Directions:
From the intersection of Rte 40 & Rte 77 in Pole Tavern, NJ continue south on Rt. 77 to just over the Salem-Cumberland Co. border. Look for Griers Lane (CR688) and Hannans Lane, also known as Ovilet Road (CR 690) on the left (eastside). Both these roads intersect with Burlington Road (which runs north south), to the east. These roads surround the sod farm.

DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer: P. 62 K1 & P. 61 K28

Use MapQuest

To Report Sightings:
Vince Elia
CMBO Research & Education Center
600 Rte 47N
Cape May Courthouse NJ 08210
(609) 861-0700