It has been a busy few days here at BirdNation. To begin with, the second owlet has hatched on the Savannah Landings Great-horned Owl cam! Momma was seen eating the eggshell in the wee hours of the morning and we saw two little fluffy heads by the afternoon. Congratulations Momma and Dad owl!
I was able to get out birding twice this weekend. The weather was very different both times (we are in New Jersey so that’s not surprising), but we did see a lot of nice things.
On Saturday morning my mom, sister, and I went to Smithville Park. I was hoping the Common Mergansers from the other day were still there and they were (although not as many). Others birds included two Cooper’s Hawks, the Belted Kingfisher, Canada Geese, and some Carolina Chickadees. Not as busy as last time, but I finally remembered my camera and took some pictures of the mergansers. They were still pretty far away so this was the best I could get.
When we were at Smithville on Saturday it was 38 degrees. When Dave and I went birding at Amico Island Park today it was almost 60 degrees! (Pick a temperature NJ!) It was a beautiful Sunday.
Amico Island is not actual an island. It is a peninsula that is surrounded by the Delaware River, Rancocas Creek, and Dredge Harbor. The park is 55 acres with 4 trails that feature forests, ponds, and river shoreline. It’s one of our birding hotspots. The last time we were there was around November so we didn’t see as much then. Today we started seeing glimpses of spring during our walk. Our count was:
- 11 Mallards
- 2 Buffleheads
- 9 Common Mergansers
- 9 Great Blue Herons
- 250+ Ring-billed Gulls
- 4 Mourning Doves
- 2 Belted Kingfishers
- 3 Downy Woodpeckers (2 males, 1 female)
- 3 Carolina Chickadees
- 1 Tufted Titmouse
- 12 American Robins
- 1 Song Sparrow
- 1 Northern Cardinal
- 10 Common Grackles
My favorite part of the day was the Great Blue Herons. When Dave and I were there in the fall we noticed an island that had some trees with large nests. We weren’t sure what the nests were at the time. Turns out it’s a Great Blue Heron rookery! If you remember my second blog post about Wetlands I featured the Great Blue Heron and mentioned rookeries. A rookery is a nesting colony. It looks like there’s about 20 nests in this colony and there were about 8 Herons there today! I am super excited! We plan on going back to Amico in a few weeks to see if we can spot any chicks.
Later while walking on the shoreline we found this nest. I wonder who used to live there.
All this nice weather is giving me spring fever! It’s supposed to be around 60 the next two days then get a little colder again, but as I said previously change is in the air. I’m looking forward to the return of Gray Catbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Orioles, and all sorts of warblers. I will miss our winter visitors though, so I will enjoy them in the meantime.