World Series of Birding 2014

Number of species: 180
Area covered: Entire state of New Jersey
Team: Nick, Jonathan, Steve, Marc & Milton (DD)

Another state run and another start at the Great Swamp where we 2 hours in 6 different locations starting at midnight. Highlights were a King Rail that called 3 times including clacks and grunting, 2 Virginia Rail, a Sora, a Spotted Sandpiper, Eastern Screech-Owl, Barred Owl as well Savannah Sparrow along with the more reliable Swamp Sparrow. We missed out on Woodcock and Snipe which has been the case in the past few runs for us.

Next stop was Owens station marshes did as we inched up to High Point. Both Barn and Great Horned Owl were no shows (both were missed on the day). A navigation mistake caused us to miss a couple of spots and go straight to Lewisburg Marsh that produced just Common Gallinule (had multiple Great Horned Owls). Night totals were fairly disappointing but you can only count what you see or hear so… off to Vesper Hill.

We got there by 4:45a and positioned ourselves close to the road and facing the area where I heard Vesper’s sing a couple of days earlier. We heard the bird sing briefly at 5:10a while most teams near us seemed to have missed it. We picked up Brown Thrasher and American Kestrel among others but missed out on Ring-necked Pheasant. The Golden-winged spot had not produce anything during scouting so we took our usual route starting with the AT&T tower where we missed out on Common Raven due to fog but stumbled upon a small flock of warblers that included Tennessee, Nashville, Yellow-rumped & Black-throated Green. Black-throated Blue, Black-and-white, Northern Parula and Yellow were also added soon thereafter. White-throated Sparrow was an extra bonus. Other highlights were Broad-winged Hawk, 3 Hermit Thrushes, Least Flycatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Other good birds including 5 species of Vireo (Red-eyed, Blue-headed, White-eyed, Yellow-throated and Warbling), Cerulean and Bay-breasted Warblers, calling Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and a very vocal Pileated Woodpecker.

Belted Kingfisher was checked before we headed to Layton Grasslands where we saw many Bobolink and a couple Eastern Meadowlark, Baltimore Orioles and Eastern Bluebirds. Green Heron and Common Merganser were added by the bridge before we finished off with the bird of the north for me: a winter wren that I found during scouting. It made me sweat it a little as it did not vocalize until we were heading out – phew. Driving mistake number 2 cost us about 15min and after our obligatory stop at the DOT barn for Cliff Swallows I handed driving duties over to Milton our DD for the long drive to Cumberland county.

We were in position to get our first birds at 1:30p and we soon added Horned Lark at Milville airport and nearby Grasshopper Sparrows. Railroad tracks produced Summer Tanager, Prothonotary Warbler, Bank Swallow and calling Yellow-billed Cuckoo. We missed out on Yellow-throated Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher. Heislerville and East Point Lighthouse produced Northern Harrier, Short-billed Dowitcher, Semipalmated Sandpiper and Plover, Least Sandpiper, Black Skimmer, Black-crowned Night Heron, Ring-billed and Bonaparte’s Gulls plus Least Tern. Yellow-breasted Chat was added at Langley Road. Reed’s Beach was good for Solitary Sandpiper, one Red Knot, Rudy Turnstones and Black Scoter.
A Red-necked Grebe was still present at Lake Champlain as we made our way to Cape Island. Seawatch at Coral Avenue produced an unlikely Common Eider, Black Scoter and Parasitic Jaeger as well as both Loons while the beach at the State Park gave us Lesser Black-backed Gull, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Sanderling and a flyover Common Tern. Other notables at Cape Island were Blue and Green-winged Teal, Gadwall and Stilt Sandpiper.

We left Cape Island at 6:30p and added Gull-billed Tern at Shell Bay, Black-bellied Plover, Whimbrel and Surf Scoter Landing at Nummy’s Island and Yellow-crowned Night Heron and Tricolored Heron at Avalon. Once again I was outvoted about going up to Brigantine NWR as we were running out of time so we spent the rest of our time in Cape May county adding Chuck’s and Whip but not much else.

All an all a good run that could/should have been much better. We ended up with 180 species which is a high for us and we were 3 species shy off 3rd place. More importantly, we had a great time and raised some money for conservation.

Checklist

Brant (Branta bernicla)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)
Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata)
Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)
Common Loon (Gavia immer)
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
King Rail (Rallus elegans)
Clapper Rail (Rallus crepitans)
Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola)
Sora (Porzana carolina)
Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)
American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)
Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)
Willet (Tringa semipalmata)
Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Red Knot (Calidris canutus)
Stilt Sandpiper (Calidris himantopus)
Sanderling (Calidris alba)
Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)
Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus)
Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus)
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)
Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Least Tern (Sternula antillarum)
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri)
Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)
Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio)
Barred Owl (Strix varia)
Chuck-will’s-widow (Antrostomus carolinensis)
Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus)
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)
Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)
White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus)
Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons)
Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius)
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus)
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
Purple Martin (Progne subis)
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis)
Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
Veery (Catharus fuscescens)
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)
Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)
Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla)
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)
Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora cyanoptera)
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)
Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea)
Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)
Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina)
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)
Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea)
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)
Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)
Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca)
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)
Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)
Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor)
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)
Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis)
Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens)
Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)
Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus)
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)
Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea)
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

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