Sunday, January 15, 2012

Phillips Preserve

Yesterday I had the chance to explore a park I had not visited before, the John A. Phillips Open Space Preserve in Old Bridge. The park is one of several within the Spotswood Outlier, the northernmost portion of the Pine Barrens. While the Spotswood Outlier is separated from the main body of the Pine Barrens by about ten miles, it is ecologically very similar. The soil is very sandy, and the woodland is a mix of oaks and pitch pines.

While the woodland was lovely, there were relatively few birds around yesterday. I encountered a few mixed flocks that seemed to be mostly Tufted Titmice and Carolina Chickadees. One flock had a Brown Creeper and Hairy Woodpecker in addition to the more common birds.

I am not sure whether these holes were the work of a woodpecker or larvae of some sort. Perhaps both were involved.