I was fortunate to co-lead a group of Hillsborough High School biology students today for a birding trip at the Sourland Preserve in Hillsborough Township. Accompanied by New Jersey Audubon naturalists from the Plainsboro Preserve as well as some teachers and parents, three groups of 25 students each, explored different habitats of the Preserve looking for birds. The group I was a part of was fortunate to find the first Scarlet Tanager reported in New Jersey in 2012, as far as is known. The bird was well seen and heard by most in our group. It is also another species on the early arrival pile for 2012. It is at least 7-10 days earlier than the average 1st arrival date for New Jersey. Also on the trip were 2 Black-and-white Warblers, a territorial Common Yellowthroat, House Wren, numerous White-throated Sparrows, Pileated Woodpecker as well as species typical of the area. One Dark-eyed Junco was a surprise since most of this species in the MoCoSoCo area appeared to have moved on since the weekend. This observer saw a Common Raven in the parking area early in the morning. There already is one nesting confirmation of Common Raven in Hillsborough. Possibly, this individual is part of a second nesting pair in the Sourland Mountain area.
From Steve Fasciana:
I had good views of a singing male Black-throated Green Warbler today (4/18) at Black River WMA in Chester along the railroad bed trail beginning on Pleasant Plains Road. Also heard a possible Pine Warbler in the evergreens on the neighboring Hermits of Mt Carmel property.
Editor’s note: The first Black-throated Green Warbler in New Jersey for 2012 was apparently found yesterday at Cape May Point. Steve’s record becomes the first of 2012 for the MoCoSoCo region.
- Jeff Ellerbusch found a Warbling Vireo at the D&R Canal Towpath north of Landing Lane in Somerset County.
- Harvey Tomlinson notes that the pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers continue at Lord Stirling Park along the Passaic River.
- Jamie Glydon reports a Common Yellowthroat From Bee Meadow Park in Hanover Township.
- Here they come! A Gray Catbird was seen and heard this morning on Pleasant Plains Road in the Great Swamp. All three eastern mimic thrushes could be witnessed in the short distance from the curve in the road by the Helen Fenske Visitors Center to the hedgerow near the currently unoccupied ranger’s house.
Submitted by Jonathan Klizas