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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Frank Windfelder

October 6, 2007
TUCKERTON MARSHES, NJ and THE FORSYTHE NWR AT BRIGANTINE

Summary of trips 1998-2007 (*.pdf file)

All images below © A Binns

Well, where do I begin? Oh, yeah, at least 30 people showed up at Tuckerton! It was going to be quite an exercise getting people on the birds with this large a group. I got a break though. Adrian Binns was there. He functioned as a co-leader, and things became manageable.

Anyway, we started by birding the marsh at the end of Great Bay Boulevard, hoping to get good looks at Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows. We did get great looks at these birds, in fact all three races. One nelsoni in particular looked like it dropped right out of a textbook. It was low tide, and there were many shorebirds, but a group of 10 Red Knots stole the show. The weather pattern had been stagnant, and with this large a group, there was no use in trying to find passerine migrants on the way out. We did luck into an adult Bald Eagle though.

The second part of the trip moved to the Brigantine Division of the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. I was shocked to see how many people came along. We had a wonderful time there. The first good bird was a very cooperative American Bittern at the Gull Pond tower. There were lots of Peregrine falcons and Northern Harriers. We even found the American White Pelican that had been previously reported.

We enjoyed both dowitchers, both night herons, and a couple of Stilt Sandpipers. I thought we had missed the Roseate Spoonbill that had been there for a couple months, but a late-lingering Adrian found that one too. I didn’t find out until the next evening that Adrian and Bill Keim had seen a Yellow-headed Blackbird while at Brigantine.

Frank Windfelder
Philadelphia, PA