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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Frank Windfelder

Pedricktown and Southwestern New Jersey
March 28, 2010 (Saturday)

Summary of the years 2001-2010 (pdf file)

I started out at the usual spot at the Center Square Railroad tracks at about 6:00 AM. I was soon joined by Robert Brezak, Terry Champion, Butch Lishman, and Doug Hughes. We enjoyed several displaying American Woodcock, a chorus of Wild Turkeys, and two singing Field Sparrows. Butch had just returned from the woods near the Pedricktown Causeway, where he heard two Eastern Screech-Owls, a first for the trip.

Birch Creek March didn’t produce much, so we headed for the causeway to meet the others. We were joined by Judy Stepanoski, Dino Fiabane, Mary Margaret Halsey, Joan Detyna, Jeanine Apgar, and Sam Perloff and his wife Erin. The water levels were low, not good for shorebirds, so we headed south.

Featherbed Lane produced several Easterm Meadowlarks. We had heard that Richman’s Ice Ceam was now closed, so we settled for a local Wawa. We then headed for Comromise Road, which produced 10 Black Vultures and a male Ring-necked Pheasant. At the route 45 access to Mannington Marsh, there were a number of the usual duck species, including a surprising number of Wood Ducks, along with some Great Egrets.

Our best bird of the trip was seen at the Sunset Road access to Mannington Marsh, a drake Eurasian Wigeon. A decision was then made to return to the Pedricktown Causeway in hopes of seeing a Ruff at high tide. Unfortunately, the water levels were extremely high, due to an impending full moon and the recent year-long deluge. We had to wait several hours for the water to recede, but that outlasted our patience. We did get 3 drake Blue-winged Teal there, and a few Forster’s Terns.

We only had 54 species, due to our decision to sell out for a Ruff. There were no Snow Geese or Tundra Swans, probably due to the previous week’s very warm weather, conducive to northbound migration. On the bright side, we used to have to go to a nest site to find Bald Eagles, but this year they were everywhere, and in every possible plumage. I recorded 8, but there were probably more. Wild Turkeys were common as well.