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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Frank Windfelder

October 10, 2009
TUCKERTON MARSHES, NJ and THE FORSYTHE NWR AT BRIGANTINE

Summary of trips 2000-2009 (*.pdf file)


I decided to run the trip late this year, hoping for more species of sparrows. We met at our usual spot at the end of Seven Bridges Road near Tuckerton. Twenty-four people were able to enjoy about 40 Saltmarsh Sparrows, 1 Seaside Sparrow, and 2 Nelson’s Sparrows of the race subvirgatus. While there, we watched at least 20 Brown Pelicans flying around out in the bay. Then we birded our way back out of the road, the highlights being a Blackpoll Warbler, a very late male Yellow Warbler, and 2 Merlins.

Those of us who went on to Brigantine had a wonderful time. There were at least 7 Peregrine Falcons. Cindy Ahern spotted the long-staying Roseate Spoonbill, clearly our best bird, which she had missed in 3 previous trips. There were lots of Long-billed Dowitchers. We had made our way all the way around the auto loop before we found an amazing group of shorebirds. This group included lots of Dunlin, but among them were 7 Silt Sandpipers, 2 Red Knots, at least 6 Western Sandpipers, 2 juvenile White-rumped Sandpipers, and a juvenile Baird’s Sandpiper.

Brigantine as a whole had amazingly large flocks of shorebirds and ducks, including at least 3,000 Northern Pintails. We had 15 species of shorebirds for the day. The Blackpoll Warbler, Baird’s sandpiper, and Roseate Spoonbill were all new for the trip.

Frank Windfelder
Philadelphia, PA

Saltmarsh Sparrow by Cliff Hence


Grackles and Merlin by Cliff Hence


 

Merlin by Cliff Hence


 

Monarch Butterfly by Margo Sutherland