New Bird Sightings
This past Saturday was the world series of birding with New Jersey being a top destination. New Jersey is a prime resting point along the migration path as well as a summer home for many. Unfortunately other obligations kept me from getting out over the weekend, so after work Monday I jetted up the hill to get some nature time by a pond near Split Rock Reservoir. I was hoping to see some birds and possibly beaver that built some dams in the pond. On the way to the pond a pileated woodpecker flew by giving me the hint it would be a good day.
Around the pond was a bit windy. I did see some swallows but no beaver and not much else happening on the wildlife front, so I decided to walk down a trail into the woods. Once I was in an area that was protected from the wind the bird action picked up quick. I very quickly spotted a Chipping Sparrow and Indigo Bunting, followed by a Scarlet Tanager. While I have seen these before they are all beautiful birds and the last two have amazing colors and I do not see them often. I spent some time not doing a whole lot of walking but doing a lot of looking. In just over an hour I saw a bunch more birds, four of which I have not positively identified before: Black and White Warbler, Red Eyed Vireo, Blue Headed Vireo and Pine Warbler. These birds are somewhat common and frankly I probably should have found these before, but I always like to be 99.5% certain of an ID before officially adding it to my list. Also, this time of year is normally quite busy for me and I don't get out as much as I would like. However, being able to add four new species in one day is always a thrill. Adding these to my list while within my home region is extra special.
Also want to think the inaturalist community for helping me positively ID one of the birds that I was not sure on. This is a great time of year to see lots of species of birds. The warmer days will bring out the reptiles and amphibians, and the hibernating mammals should also be out and about. Remember, if you carry it in, carry it out and maybe take a little extra garbage out with you if you see any.