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August 2012

July 2012

Rob Fanning Reports: CF Dickcissel!

Rob sez:

I was very pleasantly surprised to hear and eventually track down a female-type DICKCISSEL at the CF this morning.
I first saw the bird in flight and it landed in the hedgerow near the cul-de-sac for about 5 minutes before I lost it.
This is the first summer (June-Aug) record for the CF and only my 2nd record here.
It has been a very good summer for them in NJ w/ multiple records from around the state. This bird could very well have nested or attempted to nest locally--as it's quite on the early side for a migrant.
Good numbers of shorebirds continue to use the mudflats--today there were 30+ Least, 2 Semi Sands, 12+ Killdeer, and a Spotted.
4 Rough-winged swallows were buzzing over the lake and 2 Green Herons were also on the mudflats.
Great job, Rob!

Latest 'Bird Watcher': New HBO Special

My latest "Bird Watcher" column, in today's Record, is about the pleasures of birding as enumerated by Chris Cooper (in photo above at right) in the new HBO special, "Birders: The Central Park Effect."

I added a couple of my own thoughts after listing Cooper's "Seven Pleasures of Birding."

IMG_7447I included  "seeing nuances that I never stopped to notice before — whether it's the exquisite turquoise eyes of a double-crested cormorant or the subtle feather patterns on a female gadwall."

Have you ever really stopped to think why you are attracted to bird-watching?  Readers of the column are invited to share their thoughts.

Here's the link to my column.

(Pictured above, from the documentary: author Jonathan Franzen, Starr Saphir, director Jeffrey Kimball, and Chris Cooper. All four are mentioned in my Record writeup of the show (link to my Sunday article on the documentary is here).