Sunday, June 9, 2013

Good Birding at Belleplain

 [Hey, that's not a cardinal! Male Summer Tanager on the Belleplain State Forest, NJ headquarters lawn this morning. Click to enlarge photos.]

Belleplain State Forest, NJ was unexpectedly birdy for us this morning. I say unexpectedly in part because it's June, migration's over, and in part because we didn't get there until 9:00 a.m., thanks to our late night out last night counting horseshoe crabs. Despite that inauspiciously late beginning, the HQ area had many birds - Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, Great-crested Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Warbler, Acadian Flycatcher, Ovenbird, Eastern Bluebird, all before we got on our bikes and started riding through the cicada-riddled forest, where many species were in song, hard though they were to hear above the cicadas.

The 17-year cicadas certainly stole the show from the birds, too, or at least were a nice compliment to it, humming like a martian landing, flying from treetop to treetop, landing on the road, on bushes, on us. The din was especially loud on Frank's, New Bridge and Sunset Roads, if you're looking for a place to experience this once in 17 years phenomenon.

 [Ovenbird peers out at us from the shadows.]

 [This Great-crested Flycatcher responded to pishing, which is noteworthy because I find flycatchers generally among the least responsive birds when it comes to pishing.]

 [This Eastern Bluebird pair was nest building at a new box near the Belleplain HQ, but unfortunately we saw House Sparrows going to the same box, which doesn't bode well.]

 [One of a number of Worm-eating Warblers we encountered on an 8 mile ride through Belleplain on our bikes. This one was feeding several very recently fledged young, which seemed a bit early.]

[Cicadas aren't the only bug emerging in Belleplain. Spicebush Swallowtails were everywhere, including a group of 10 very fresh individuals gathered at the junction of Tom Field Road and Sunset Road.]

No comments:

Post a Comment