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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Sandra Keller

February 16, 2015
"North Shore", NJ

Well, this had to be the coldest we have done this trip up here! A massive cold front descended on the area a few days beforehand. Single digit temps and strong winds were not conducive to scanning water bodies, but the weather improved a bit for Monday.
Thankfully! 15 degrees and 20 mph NW winds - it was still very cold!

As usual, birds to chase. Thick-billed Murre was being reported for a couple of days before the trip, so I decided to concentrate on locating one. We hit many jetties and ocean overlooks, but unfortunately, we could not locate one. I haven't heard of any other reports as I write this - Tues. Feb. 17. A highlight was seeing 4 Red-necked Grebes very close to the walkway at the Shark River marina by the boat docks and the bridge abutments.
With the general
freeze-up of the ponds and most of the Shark River, waterfowl was concentrated in that area. Hooded and Red-breasted Mergs were abundant. Ruddy Ducks, Bufflehead, etc were all seen well. Common Goldeneye, Redheads, American Wigeon, Black Ducks, Mallards, and Gadwall were all see on the ocean at various stops. Very unusual - but with the freeze-up, the birds will relocate from their usual inland water areas.

I decided to head north from Shark River as a Bohemian Waxwing was found at Sandy Hook the previous day. We struck out with the Murre, but had some massive waterfowl flocks on the ocean as we scanned our way north. A new area for me was the Monmouth Cultural Center ocean overlook. Mike Britt was telling me about it. The rock formations are close to the shore there - or something like this - making a good area for the birds to feed and us to see close. I will be hitting here regularly as I head north on this trip.

Yes, we did hear the Bohemian was seen again today, so we finished at Sandy Hook - the Atlantic Ave. area - where we ran into Scott and Linda and others and the bird! Great way to end!

I would like to thank those hardy souls who joined me today. We all scanned, found birds, got each other on the birds, and had a great day.

I am happy to answer any questions - please email if any. Sandra Keller - sandrakeller@verizon.net