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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Frank Windfelder

Pedricktown and Southwestern New Jersey
March 29, 2008 (Saturday)

Summary of the years 1999 - 2008 (excluding 2005)

Our annual trip to the Pedricktown area of New Jersey began with freezing temperatures, but warm personalities. A newcomer by the name of George Rangham described himself as a “gate crasher”. Nonetheless, the displaying American Woodcocks were not offended. A bonus was a pair of fly-by Wilson’s Snipes. We proceeded to Birch Creek Marsh, where we saw some Pied-billed Grebes.

The plan was to meet the rest of the group at the Pedricktown causeway, which has been closed to cars this year. This enabled us to bird without the usual fear for our very lives. Tom Bailey promptly found what was arguably the best bird of the day, a drake Eurasian Teal. Everyone saw it.

Or next stop was Featherbed Lane, where we met with limited success. A few of us saw a Ross’s Goose in the flock of Snows, but many did not. Next was Mannington Marsh, a bit disappointing because the Tundra Swans and many of the ducks must have made an early exit this year.

A try for the Brewer’s Blackbirds at the Freas Road location produced a real shock, a bird in flight which had all the earmarks of a Prairie Falcon. In addition to myself, it was also seen by Bill Keim and Joan Detyna. The fact that it would be a first New Jersey record was not lost on us.

The more than 20 participants had a great time, especially Jack Beltz, yet to celebrate his 12th birthday.