Date: 7/4/17 10:09 am From: Susan Treesh <sktreesh...> Subject: [JERSEYBI] Somerset area birding - 7/4/17
Hi Jerseybirders - I did some early morning birding today in the Somerset area. I visited the Six Mile Run field where the clay-colored sparrow was last month, but neither saw nor heard it, though it was ebirded on July 1. The field was nonetheless full of birds, many feeding fledglings - every tree seemed to hold them - and a blue grosbeak was a nice consolation there, and I also had an orchard oriole carrying food and a YB cuckoo.
Then I went on to Negri-Nepote, to check again, as many have been doing, for any dickcissels. No luck there either, but again had blue grosbeaks. This has to be the first year where I've had more blue grosbeaks than rose-breasted locally.
Also, purple martins! For those of you who bird Negri, you remember that one of the adjacent property owners has tried for years to entice in purple martins with a beautiful set of martin houses, in vain. Well, this year his patience has paid off. I saw two adults and two young purple martins at the houses, along with tree swallows. Tree swallows have departed the Six Mile Run field, and most have left Negri, but a few are still fledging, and a few more are gathering in a flock to depart. Another bird starting to flock are red-winged black birds, probably the most numerous bird I saw today.
Grasshopper sparrows were still singing in both places. I think and hope that the habitat management at Negri has paid dividends, in that grasshopper sparrows have moved out and become more numerous in other areas. Six Mile Run has always had them, but they seemed more conspicuous and abundant this year. That would be great news, that Franklin Township's habitat management program has gotten results!
At least six other people had been birding at Negri by the time I left, around 9:30. The fact a somewhat weedy field in suburbia is drawing 7 people to go birding before 9 am on July 4 is also gratifying for a place that isn't a coastal hotspot nor a scenic lookout with a big wildlife center.
Hannah Pond has a decent amount of water in it, unlike the past few Julys. I hope it holds water all year this year!