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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Frank Windfelder

Pedricktown and Southwestern New Jersey
April 1, 2006 (Saturday)

Our annual trip to the Pedricktown area was quite a success. The weather was warm, and the predicted rain never came. The 22 enthusiastic participants included several teenagers from the Rancocas Nature Center.

The early group got to see numbers of Wild Turkeys. Although the expected large flock of Snow Geese never materialized, we were able to study a Red-tailed Hawk on nest. At Mannington Marsh, we were treated to a drake Blue-winged Teal. A couple of people saw the increasingly rare Common Gallinule. There was also a beautiful adult Little Blue Heron, and a pair of Wilson’s Snipe.

Heading further south, we looked unsuccessfully for the reported Lark Sparrow, but there were White-crowned and Savannah Sparrows at the location. The wintering flock of 7 Brewer’s Blackbirds were still there, and everyone had great views of them. There were also Horned Larks in the area. Sarah Tanedo, one of the Rancocas youths, found an Osprey building a nest.

Our next stop was the Bald Eagle nest on Stimson Island Road, where a pair of eagles put on quite a show. To the delight of Edie Parnum, we made our usual stop at Richmond’s Ice Cream store.

Our final stop provided everyone with great views of a Great Horned Owl on nest. The only shorebirds we were able to find besides the snipe were both yellowlegs and a couple of Killdeer. However, Chris Walters, birding after the group disbanded, managed to find Pectoral Sandpipers and Rusty Blackbirds. The total of 66 species was low for this trip, mostly because we missed some common passerines, but we had a great time.