Saturday, September 08, 2007

Griggstown Birds

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.


Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Barn Swallow
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue Jay
American Crow
European Starling
Red-eyed Vireo
American Goldfinch
American Redstart
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Common Grackle


Black Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Cabbage White
Clouded Sulphur
Cloudless Sulphur
Gray Hairstreak
Red-banded Hairstreak
Eastern Tailed-Blue
Mourning Cloak
Red Admiral
Common Checkered-Skipper
Least Skipper
Zabulon Skipper