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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Sandra Keller

February 21, 2011
"North Shore", NJ

The President's Day trip up to the North Shore area again had to deal with "iffy" weather, but I thought we could get a few birding hours in. We did and then some - the snow did not hit until late that evening. We were all hoping the strong NE winds would push some alcids close to shore. We scanned the oceans and jetties from the Shark River Inlet north with no luck! Lots of the usual though - COMMON and RED-THROATED LOONS, both BLACK and SURF SCOTERS, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, nice numbers of BONAPARTE'S GULLS flying north - I presume heading to Seven President's Park where we had a feeding flock of roughly 50 in very close to the shore. We tracked down the BLACK-HEADED GULL. One participant got some nice flight shots!

We were at Seven President's for the BLACK-HEADED GULL and the CROSSBILLS. We did manage to track down the WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, but the Red eluded us. A participant - Joe Delasantro - found three COMMON REDPOLLS in with a mixed flock of JUNCOS, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and TREE SPARROWS! These were the bird of the day by far! Many great pictures were taken of these cooperative little winter finches.

We birded Lake Takanassee and Wreck Pond - the two premiere ponds at the North Shore. Lake Takanassee is north and Wreck Pond is south of Shark River. No rarities on either one today for us. The Wreck Pond ocean overlook is always worth a scan. A RED-NECKED GREBE was a nice find. Mannasquan Inlet I birded by myself - one final inlet scan for an alcid! Again, no luck!

Any comments, corrections, suggestions for next year's trip, questions, etc. please email me at sandrakeller@verizon.net.

Sandra Keller