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Field Trip Report

Field Trip to Pedricktown and Southwestern New Jersey
Saturday, April 5, 2003

by Frank Windfelder

I have to remind myself not to take our local weather forecasters too seriously. According to them, the day of the trip should have been something approaching a hurricane. Actually, there was no wind, little rain, and temperatures in the low fifties. The tides were not really right for Ruff at Pedricktown, so we didn't stay there long. We did see Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Pectoral and Least Sandpipers, Wilson's Snipe, Eastern Phoebe, Pied-billed Grebe, and our first Bald Eagle of the day.

At Featherbed lane, we found a flock of Snow Geese. To our amazement, practically the first bird we looked at was a Ross's Goose. A few minutes later, we found a second in the same flock. Colin Campbell, Paul Driver and the rest of us had "crippling views" of the geese.

Other participants were Chris Walters, Sandra Sherman, Chuck Hetzel, and Dennis Brennan. Dennis had brought Hank Hox along, whom I had never met. When he gave me his name, I asked him to spell it, and he answered "HANK". He will fit in well with DVOC.

We then made our annual "Pit Stop" at Richman's Ice Cream.

We moved on to Mannington Marsh, where we found a variety of waterfowl, including the first Blue-winged Teal of the year for many people. There were more eagles. Dunlin, Rusty Blackbird, and a surprise inland Bonaparte's Gull. We looked unsuccess- fully for a Eurasian Teal in the large flock ofGreen- wingeds.

At Money Island Road, we saw a Great Homed Owl with young on nest. We searched flocks of Glossy Ibis for the White-faced Ibis that had been reported previously. At first we were happy when we found a male Ring-necked Pheasant near a house. However, when the owner came out, she said the bird's name was "PETER". Using a sharp pencil, I added the bird to my list anyway.

We also searched everywhere for a Ruff, but it was not to be on this day. Nonetheless, we tallied 88 species of birds, the two Ross's Geese, and a total of five Bald Eagles. It's just a great time of year to look for spring arrivals. We had a great time.