Archive for Birding New Jersey

Jul
24

Big Moth

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I tagged along on Dan and David’s Brookdale Park walk this morning, curious to see what it was like as the annual Joldrums descend on New Jersey’s woodlands. And it was pretty much as you’d expect: the odd eastern wood-pewee whining from the treetops, blue jays slipping through the foliage, chimney swifts and barn swallows hunting the skies. Very pleasant, very enjoyable, but not overly birdy.

big silk moth

The big find of the morning, for me at least, was this enormous silk moth, a polyphemus, if my primitive picture-matching led me aright. Now to see a live one sometime!

(Anybody else think of Annie Dillard with a shiver?)

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Jul
19

Shorebirds

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Shorebirding at Brigantine was fun this afternoon — as always. The rarity highlight was certainly the alternate-plumaged Hudsonian godwit at the end of the day (too far for pictures), but I was just as happy to see my first western sandpipers for the fall, a dozen birds scattered among the semipalmated and least sandpipers.

western sandpiper

 

Who could fail to love these beautiful Arctic wanderers?

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Jul
18

Book Signing at Brig

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See you there!

Screenshot 2014-07-18 09.20.29

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Jul
14

Drowned Rats

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Hot, humid. Heavy skies and sluggish afternoons. Alison and Gellert and I decided to slip the surly bond of a New Jersey summer’s day with a walk in the Meadowlands, hoping to run across a shorebird or two or maybe even the American white pelican that has been lingering there the past week or so.

We were surprised when we got out of the car to find a nice, almost coolish breeze, and the stroll out the dike was as pleasant as it could be. Birding was disappointingly slow, though close views of two adult spotted sandpipers were worth lingering over.

We lingered. We lingered too long. That nice, almost coolish breeze was driving a black wall of water our way, and by the time we looked away from the scope it was too late. A fast walk turned into a slow run turned into an out-and-out dash to the car, interrupted every few seconds when Gellert paused to shake himself — in vain. We were soaked, all three of us.

But at least we’d gone outside.

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Jul
07

Lake Red

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Mourning Dove

Many pigeon species have strikingly colored feet when they are in breeding condition, and the familiar mourning dove is no exception.

Ridgway calls the tarsus and toes of adult males “lake red,” which he describes in his early Nomenclature of Colors as

purplish red … not so intense as crimson (Medium tint of madder-carmine.)

Ridgwya 1886, Nomenclature

What does your eye say?

 

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