Saturday, April 30, 2011

Birds at the Rogers Refuge

I was at the Rogers Refuge with my mother and sister yesterday morning to look for the rails and bittern that have been easy to see from the observation platform. Unfortunately we got there shortly after the Sora was last seen that morning, and it did not reappear. There were a lot of other birds to see, though. Many birds were singing, including Common Yellowthroat, Baltimore Oriole, and my first Scarlet Tanager of the year. There were a lot of Gray Catbirds chasing each other around near the platform and near some of the pumphouses. My first Green Heron of the year flew along the opposite side of the marsh and started getting harassed by Blue Jays. The jays are probably correct in seeing the Green Heron as a threat since herons sometimes take other species' nestlings as food.

There were also a lot of flowers in bloom near the platform and in the nearby woods. Some of them were downy yellow violets, like this one. There were also lots of spring beauties and other violet types.

After I entered my checklist into eBird, I realized that the morning's outing was just enough to push my Mercer County life list over 100. So with 101 species, Mercer became the ninth county in New Jersey where I have seen at least 100 species.