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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Sandra Keller

February 21, 2016
Palmyra Cove Nature Park, NJ

Our first outing to Palmyra Cove Nature Park this year was a great trip! Many bird species seen and a great group of participants! Thank you all for helping each other get on the birds. The bird of the trip was the Great Horned Owl nesting. We kept our distance while enjoying excellent looks. An interesting spectacle there was an egg she pushed out of the nest a few days earlier. It landed 2 ft. away and is still there! We presume this egg didn’t hatch and she pushed it out when the others did. I went scouting previously for Saw-whet Owl. Nothing. I didn’t expect any, but had wanted to check. The deer population in the park is not managed and that is having an impact. Hardly anything green around – like the Honeysuckle Tangles that the Saw-whets used to roost in. There is no understory in the woods anymore either.

A good variety of wintering passerine species was seen – Tree Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Brown Creeper, Yellow-rumped Warbler. Common Mergansers were migrating north. We had over 200! Killdeer and Fish Crow were a couple harbingers of spring – nice to see and hear on this fairly warm day!

We took a break after the owl and passerine loop. Next up was the cove. This is a fantastic spot, but is a long walk out and back. We enjoyed the gull show – including a third year Lesser Black-backed Gull. Green-winged Teal, Black Ducks, and Pintails were in the high tide cove. All ranges of tide at the cove can be good for birds. Numbers and species will vary of course. We hit close to high tide and still had some mud flats showing.

We hit the Palmyra Harbor area next fairly quickly to see the Canvasback. They were north of here closer to the Riverton Yacht Club, but we didn’t have time to drive up that way.

Here are the ebird checklist links:
Palmyra Nature Cove - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27734491
Palmyra Harbor - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27730894

The first spring trip is Sunday, April 24 at 7:00AM. Meet in the parking lot again. The change in bird species will be great by then.
Any questions on this trip or the upcoming trips, please email mail.
Sandra Keller – sandrakeller@verizon.net

Sandra Keller