Winter Birds Of Sandy Hook

Date: March 4, 2012

Location: Sandy Hook, NJ

Reported by: Joe Giunta

Our group of 10 birders left the NYC Audubon Center on 23rd St. at 10am. We arrived at our destination just a little after 11am and starting doing some birding. Our first stop was the ocean beach at lot ‘C’ where we saw many sea ducks including white-winged scoters, surf scoters, red-breasted mergansers, common loons and long-tailed ducks. We crossed the road and viewed the bay side where we saw many great cormorants and bay ducks including buffleheads. Next we visited the boardwalk trail opposite the visitor’s center. Here we saw more bay ducks including greater scaup. After this we did some land birding. We walked through the holly Forest seeing many Cedar waxwings, yellow-rumped warblers, and an overwintering catbird. While we were on the trail a mature bald eagle flew overhead. We had lunch at the picnic benches while overlooking the bay. We also picked up a very close killdeer on the lawn.

After lunch we went to ‘K’ lot and its observation tower. From the tower we had great views of Brooklyn’s Coney Island, the Verrazano Bridge, and the skyscrapers of lower Manhattan. As for birds we saw black scoters, northern gannets, and ring-necked ducks. Seeing the black scoter completed the entire scoter set. A very cooperative turkey vulture flew right over our platform. One last stop was made at the ferry terminal where we saw more northern gannets. We left the park and after making one stop along the way we arrived back at the Audubon Center a little after 5pm. A great trip had by all.

Species Seen: 39

Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Northern Gannet
Great Cormorant
Canada Goose
Brant
Mallard
American Black Duck
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Long-tailed Duck
Black Scoter
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Bufflehead
Red-breasted Merganser
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Killdeer
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Tree Swallow
Cedar Waxwing
Carolina Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
American Robin
American Crow
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch


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