This morning I visited some of the open space preserves in Franklin Township with my mother and sister. Our first stop was the Bunker Hill Natural Area. That wooded tract was fairly quiet, with the exception of a few patches of chickadees and white-breasted nuthatches, along with ubiquitous blue jays.
The Griggstown Grasslands Preserve was much more birdy. We found field and savannah sparrows fairly close to the parking lot. The latter seems a bit early too me; I am not quite sure of their timing of their fall appearance in central Jersey. The meadows deeper into the tract were full of butterflies, such as hairstreaks, skippers, and swallowtails. I saw my first common checkered skipper today. Two hedgerows separated by a meadow held small mixed flocks that included three redstarts, a phoebe, and a great-crested flycatcher, as well as the more common species. Finally, there was a small flock of bobolinks near the parking lot. About seven flew over the path and settled on top of some forbs for an easy view.
There will be some hunting in the area during fall and winter for the purpose of deer control. The hunting application (pdf) explains where and when it will occur.
BIRD SPECIES: 30
Great Crested Flycatcher
BUTTERFLY SPECIES: 14
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail