Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grasslands, 6/12

Sunday wasn't any better weather-wise than Saturday, and in fact it was lightly drizzling by the time I reached Six Mile Run State Park (Franklin Twp, NJ). I found the usual suspects fairly straightforwardly: the usual Willow Flycatcher tussle near the parking lot (could it actually be the same two males each year), American Goldfinch feeding in the thistle, Tree Swallow and Barn Swallow, Field Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow out in the field. One Grasshopper Sparrow was singing consistently and the other one (also probably male) was just giving contact calls. One singing male Indigo Bunting, a distant Prairie Warbler, Eastern Bluebirds, and an adult Cooper's Hawk hunting the area. The Red-winged Blackbirds must have just fledged or be close to it - several males ended up hovering in an agitated way over my head although they didn't dive-bomb me.

No orioles and no Blue Grosbeak, but Willow Flycatcher and Grasshopper Sparrow were new birds for the year.

A few miles to the south I visited Griggstown. I didn't hear any Grasshopper Sparrows, nor any Indigo Buntings, but I did add both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles for the day. Red-winged Blackbird numbers seemed low and this site definitely appears not to have bounced back from mismanagement in recent years. We shall see if it pulls in the sparrows this fall.

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