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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Martin Selzer

April 29, 2012
Belleplain State Forest, NJ

We had some good birding in Belleplain State Forest on Sunday April 29th at least for the first 2+ hours when there was lots of bird song and activity. In those first peak moments of early morning sunshine we had outstanding looks at Pine, Yellow-rumped, Yellow-throated, Worm-eating, Hooded, Black-throated-Green, and Black & White Warblers, as well as Louisiana Waterthrush. Ovenbirds were calling everywhere we stopped and walked but not one cooperated and let itself been seen.

Additionally, we had one Blue-headed Vireo, several White-eyed Vireos and one very obliging Red-eyed Vireo throughout the course of the day. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were abundant and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo was one of the after lunch highlights but no tanagers or orioles were seen or even heard. Eastern Phoebes were on nest at the Visitor Center and on territory at the bridge along Sunset Road but surprisingly Acadian Flycatchers were quiet and were unobserved. We did have several Great-crested Flycatchers. But otherwise there was a lack of flycatchers this day.

There were a few lingering White-throated Sparrows to go along with the Chipping and Song Sparrows we found. Along the trail behind the visitor center, we tracked down a Wood Thrush and here and there we had Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Eastern Towhees, American Goldfinches, and Tree Swallows.

By noon when it finally was starting to warm up, we had a couple Red-tailed Hawks, Black and Turkey Vultures soaring over head. There also were a few butterflies starting to stir at this point including Juvenal's Duskywing, Red-banded Hairstreaks, American Lady, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Spring Azures and Red Admirals

Thanks to everyone who came on the trip.