DVOC Main Page > World Series of Birding > 2006 Report


Nikon/DVOC Lagerhead Shrikes Report

Paul Guris (Capt); Adrian Binns; Mike Fritz; Eric Pilotte

Highlights and Things of Note
- Had 29 species in the Great Swamp during 1hr 55mins, including a King Rail that not only was very close and loud but that was full of testosterone; and as many as 10 Willow Flycatchers calling in one spot; Veery, Wood, Swainson’s & Gray-cheeked Thrush all within a minute flying over
- We were one of the first teams up the ‘Vesper Hill’ but unfortunately also one of the last to leave, as it took us a while to locate a Grasshopper Sparrow, costing us at least 5 minutes
- This year a nearly ready to fledge Raven chick was on the nest at the top of High Point. Often they have left by now.
- A Wild Turkey flying down the road in front of us with a Sharp-shinned Hawk hot on its tail
- Left the north (meaning we crossed Rte 80) at 10:12 with 135 species. Cornell left the north with 147 species at 9:40, an extraordinary accomplishment.
- Being witness to a rather hilarious incident on Rte 31 involving a very irate woman and another vehicle
- Lucking out with having a Common Nighthawk fly over our van at 1:10PM. Coming across Northern Harrier and Gull-billed Tern on the route, saving us having to go to two out of the way locations to get them, therefore buying us valuable additional time elsewhere, like giving us a total of 45 minutes to scan the ocean at Cape May Point, allowing us to pick up good birds like Royal Tern, Parasitic Jaeger, Purple Sandpiper, Surf and White-winged Scoter.
- Having a Eurasian Collared Dove fly across the road in front of us as we were driving through South Seaville. This being a previously unrecorded individual bird in Cape May County. Since only the two of us in the front seat saw it, it was a bit ironic that we would later actually come across the one that had been reported all week on Stone Harbor Blvd, and therefore have everyone ‘clean up’ that species
- Hearing an unexpected Dickcissel on Goshen Landing Road at night
- Somehow both Eric and Mike finished the 24 hours with all their fingers in tact

Time / Place / Species
12:00 / Great Swamp. 60 degrees, thin clouds, full moon, still / Eastern Screech Owl; Marsh Wren
12:04 / Great Swamp Tower Marsh / Great Blue Heron; American Woodcock; Ovenbird; Scarlet Tanager
12:07 / Barred Owl; Sora; Virginia Rail; Swamp Sparrow; Least Sandpiper; Solitary Sandpiper
12:11 / Canada Goose; Black-crowned Night Heron
12:17 / Willow Flycatcher; Swainson’s Thrush
12:23 / Great Swamp Least Bittern Marsh till 12:40 / American Bittern; Veery; Gray- cheeked Thrush; Wood Thrush
12:55 / Great Swamp Loop Road / King Rail; Gray Catbird; Yellow-breasted Chat; Least Bittern; Common Yellowthroat
1:23 / Black-billed Cuckoo; Great Horned Owl; Green Heron
1:53 / White-crowned Sparrow; Wood Duck
1:55 / leaving Great Swamp and arriving at Lewisburg Swamp at 2:58
3:04 / Lewisburg Road Swamp, south of Sussex till 3:27. Cloudy, still / Common Moorhen; (American Bittern)
3:18 / Pied-billed Grebe
3:45 / Libertyville Marsh till 3:50 / Song Sparrow; (Eastern Screech Owl); Yellow-billed Cuckoo; Field Sparrow
4:25 / arrive at the ‘Vesper Hill’ on Sally Harden in the grasslands
Yellow Warbler; Red-winged Blackbird; Brown Thrasher; Ring-necked Pheasant; Eastern Bluebird; Northern Mockingbird by 4:55
5:00 / Savannah Sparrow; Killdeer
5:04 / Vesper Sparrow
5:12 / Northern Cardinal; Mourning Dove; Chipping Sparrow; Indigo Bunting; American Robin
5:20 / Grasshopper Sparrow, followed by a mad dash back down the long hill
5:24 / Eastern Phoebe near the bottom of the hill
5:25 / back in the van. During the next 5 minutes as we worked our way out of the grasslands we picked up / House Wren; Tufted Titmouse; Starling; Wild Turkey; and caught Mike’s fingers in the passenger side door (it could have been worse and it did not stop him from picking his nose with them)
5:30 / Glen Brook Inn / Black-capped Chickadee; Louisiana Waterthrush
5:35 / on the way to the Highpoint ATT Tower / American Crow; Common Grackle
5:36 / Highpoint Tower till 5:37 / Eastern Towhee; White-throated Sparrow; American Redstart; Common Raven; Baltimore Oriole
5:37 / Highpoint Tower Road till 5:40 / Yellow-bellied Sapsucker; Chestnut-sided Warbler; Northern Parula; Rose-breasted Grosbeak
5:43 / Sawmill Road, starting at the top and working our way to the Campground /
Blackburnian Warbler; Cerulean Warbler; Hermit Thrush
5:45 / Red-eyed Vireo; Blue-gray Gnatcatcher; Black & White Warbler
5:47 / Canada Warbler, which we missed at the 1st Broad-winged Hawk nest site
5:49 / Sharp-shinned Hawk (chasing a Wild Turkey)
5:50 / Sawmill Campground / Cooper’s Hawk on the nest
5:56 / Northern Flicker
6:00 / White-breasted Nuthatch; Great Crested Flycatcher
6:03 / Yellow-throated Vireo; American Goldfinch
6:07 / Park Ridge Road / Blue Jay
6:11 / Yellow-rumped Warbler; Black-throated Blue Warbler; Pileated Woodpecker; Red- bellied Woodpecker; Downy Woodpecker; Least Flycatcher;
6:19 / (Blackburnian Warbler); Northern Waterthrush; Bay-breasted Warbler
6:27 / Park Bench on Ridge Road / Ruffed Grouse; Cedar Waxwing
6:32 / Black Spruce Bog / Purple Finch
6:35 / Black-throated Green Warbler
6:54 / Stokes, top of Crigger Road / Eastern Wood Pewee;
6:58 / Crigger Road & Grau Road / Pine Warbler; Hairy Woodpecker
7:06 / Parker Trail Crossing / Blue-headed Vireo
7:07 / Broad-winged Hawk, on the nest
7:08 / Aquatong Campground / Golden-crowned Kinglet; Red-breasted Nuthatch; Magnolia Warbler
7:14 / Tinsley Trail / Brown Creeper; Acadian Flycatcher, only Paul heard it
7:28 / #57 Flatbrook Road / Ruby-throated Hummingbird
7:34 / Flatbrook & Hotalen Roads / Winter Wren. Not being the first to arrive at this site (when the bird was close to the road), we had to go deeper into the woods to locate it.
7:39 / Kittinany Lake / Spotted Sandpiper
7:46 / Culver’s Lake, calm little wind, overcast, 58 degrees / Carolina Wren
7:50 / Culver’s Lake Church / Barn Swallow; Tree Swallow; Purple Martin
7:56 / Culver’s Lake Causeway till 8:01 / Mute Swan; Mallard; Common Loon; House Sparrow; cleaned up Eastern Bluebird; Warbling Vireo; House Finch
8:02 / Culver’s Lake till 8:07/ Ring-billed Gull; Double-crested Cormorant; missed Ring- necked Duck
8:37 / Corner of Culver’s Lake and Hemlock Ave / hit a migrant flock (large numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers); Cape May Warbler; Blackpoll; cleaned up Bay-breasted Warbler; (Magnolia Warbler); Brown-headed Cowbird
8:46 / Layton School / Bobolink
8:48 / Layton Garage Bridge / Northern Rough-winged Swallow
8:50 / Rock Pigeon
8:51 / Road leading into Van Ness / Prairie Warbler; Blue-winged Warbler
8:55 / Van Ness Road / Lincoln’s Sparrow; missed the usually reliable Golden-winged Warbler that sings Blue-winged.
9:06 / Dinghman’s Ferry Bridge / Belted Kingfisher, thanks to Eric small stature he was able to pick it out on the far side of the bank blending in perfectly a foot off the water.
9:09 / Walpack Valley Road near Peter’s Valley / Hooded Warbler
9:11 / Road cutting back to Peter’s Valley /Golden-winged Warbler; (Black-billed Cuckoo)
9:19 / DOT Barn till 9:20 / Cliff Swallow; Eastern Kingbird; Worm-eating Warbler
9:31 / Mountain Road / clean up Acadian Flycatcher
9:41 / 300 yard dash to the Delaware River at Flatbrook and back, out at 9:46 / Common Merganser
9:56 / Old Mine Road - Poxono Boat Launch till 9:59 / Bald Eagle; couldn’t find Lesser Scaup
10:12 / Old Mine Road and I-80. Leaving the North with 135 species
10:14 / I-80 / Red-tailed Hawk; Turkey Vulture
10: 31 / Rte 31 / Chimney Swift
10:40 / Rte 31 just north of Spruce Run / Black Vulture
11:46 / Florence - Riverview Road / Great Cormorant; Laughing Gull
11:52 / Florence - River’s Edge Park till 12:01 / Lesser Black-backed Gull; Great Black- backed Gull; Herring Gull
12:04 / Florence - PA Turnpike Bridge till 12:15 / Iceland Gull; watched the Zeiss team scan for the Iceland after it walked out of sight (ouch!)
12:24 / Rte 541 & Rte 295 Exit 47
12:50 / Red Bank Dredge Spoils / American Coot
12:54 / Riverwinds / Northern Bobwhite
12:57 / back on 295 and in a small rain shower which briefly dropped the temperature from 70 to 63
1:03 / Rte 295 & 130 / Great Egret
1:08 / Birch Creek / Semipalmated Plover
1:10 / over Rte 130 near Oldham’s Creek / Common Nighthawk…how lucky can you get!
1:15 / Chapter One Farm on CR 602 till 1:17 / Lesser Yellowlegs; Greater Yellowlegs
1:23 / Pointer’s-Auburn Road / Horned Lark
1:26 / Sharptown-Auburn Road / Snow Goose
1:30 / Featherbed Lane Pond / Eastern Meadowlark
1:31 / stop for petrol at Sharptown. We were so quick that Eric didn’t have a chance to use the indoor bathroom. The outdoors never stopped him before!
1:49 / Mannington Marsh at Rte 45 / Caspian Tern
1:50 / Acton Station Road / Glossy Ibis
1:59 / Quinton-Hancock Bridge Road / Northern Harrier (at least 2) which saved us from having to go to either Jake’s Landing Road or Turkey Point; Osprey sitting in a field (weird!)
2:05 / Money Island Road / Barn Owl
2:14 / Rte 47 south of Quinton / Cattle Egret
2:21 / Gravelly Hill Road / Carolina Chickadee
2:22 / Telegraph Road & 47 / searched without luck for American Kestrel till 2:29
3:03 / Shaw’s Mill Road / White-eyed Vireo; Blue Grosbeak
3:07 / Ackley Road / Fish Crow; cleaned up Carolina Chickadee
3:11 / Summer Tanager
3:22 / Rte 555 / Prothonotary Warbler
3:29 / Pond at Dragston Road / Orchard Oriole; (White-eyed Vireo; Blue Grosbeak; Prairie Warbler)
3:43 / US Silica / Kentucky Warbler; Yellow-throated Warbler
3:47 / CR 633 / Bank Swallow
4:04 / Heislerville WMA 1st Pond / Black Skimmer; Dunlin; Black-bellied Plover; White- rumped Sandpiper; Semipalmated Sandpiper; Ruddy Turnstone; Forster’s Tern; Least Tern; cleaned up Black-crowned Night Heron; Short-billed Dowitcher; could not find the Curlew Sandpiper. Stilt Sandpiper was found by another team
4:16 / 2nd Pond / American Black Duck; Red Knot; Gull-billed Tern which saved us some time by now not having to go to Beaver Swamp; Snowy Egret
4:19 / Seaside Sparrow
4:28 / 3rd Pond / drake Blue-winged Teal; Tri-colored Heron
4:49 / Main Street in South Seaville / Eurasian Collared Dove
4:57 / Tamberlane Campground on Rte 9 in South Seaville / Red-headed Woodpecker
5:00 / leaving South Seaville with 190 species heading toward Cape May
5:17 / Cape May / searched in vain for White-winged Dove till 5:21
5:30 / Cape May Meadows till 5:39 / another run for the ages to the far end of the ponds for Gadwall; Green-winged Teal; Ruddy Duck
5:43 / Cape May State Park lighthouse beach till 5:57 / Piping Plover; American Oystercatcher; Royal Tern; Common Tern; (Least Tern); Boat-tailed Grackle;
Northern Gannet, our 200th specie
6:01 / St. Peter’s Jetty at end of South Lake Dr till 6:12. Conditions were excellent with little wind, calm seas, slightly overcast and 70 degrees / Sanderling; Purple Sandpiper; Bonaparte’s Gull; could not locate a Red-throated Loon
6:14 / Alexander Ave Jetty till 6:24 / Parasitic Jaeger; White-winged Scoter; Surf Scoter
6: 35 / Ocean Drive till 6:40 / Willet; Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow; (Seaside Sparrow)
6:54 / Stone Harbor Blvd / cleaned up Eurasian Collared Dove (!)
6:59 / Stone Harbor Blvd, Scotch Bonnet Marine Bridge / Peregrine; Brant; Whimbrel; Little Blue Heron
7:00 / cleaned up Tri-colored Heron
7:05 / Stone Harbor side of Nummy Island Bridge / Clapper Rail; (Common Loon); scanned without success for Red-breasted Merganser
7:11 / Nummy Island. Closing Eric’s fingers in the driver’s side door and seeing the end of two of them sticking out!
7:27 / Avalon, Ocean Drive & 37th / Yellow-crowned Night Heron
7:45 / Reeds Beach till 8:06 / Black Scoter; scanned for Western Grebe without luck
8:28 / Mt. Olive Cemetery at Goshen Crossing / Chuck-will’s-widow; Whip-poor-will
9:10 / Goshen Landing Road. A little overcast, still and 68 degrees / Dickcissel; (Virginia Rail; Clapper Rail); could not locate a Black Rail
9:15 / called it a day…headed for the pub to do the check list

218 species. 3rd place – winning total was 229 species by the Cornell Sapsuckers.

“Dirty Birds”, meaning birds not identified by every member of the team. We are allowed 5% of our total - in this case 10 species.
2 species - Lesser Black-backed Gull; Yellow-throated Warbler

Missed, meaning species that we knew were about and had been seen while scouting
In the North…..Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck and the following migrants Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Tennessee Warbler; Nashville Warbler; Wilson’s Warbler
In the south…...American Kestrel; Red-breasted Merganser; Red-throated Loon; Western Grebe; (Curlew Sandpiper) found in a different location; (Black Rail) hoped it was “in”. It was but we were in the wrong location; White-winged Dove (as did many teams)

Bathroom Breaks
Consumed an enormous amount of water, therefore…..often, very often and anywhere while birding – multi-tasking as its finest

The supply was endless, brownies, bagels, wraps, snacks……..with much of it left over, especially as A had his own rabbit food. Thanks go to the packers, Anita and Alec, for the edible contents and the surprises, which Eric could not get enough of!

Many thanks goes to all the members of DVOC that put in considerable time scouting for us. It is very much appreciated and you should take great pride in sharing our accomplishment, as we could not do it without you. I would like to point out that one thing scouts do is assess the situation and act accordingly. In the case of the location for the White-winged Dove in order to get the maximum possible coverage of the area, one had to peer over a solid 6 foot fence. Ingenuity at it finest occurred when Bert, knowing that we had a vertically challenged member of the team, placed a milk crate at the base of the fence for Eric!

Approx 500 miles. We forgot to set the odometer from the start!

- Adrian Binns