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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey


Winter 2002
Hannah Suthers

December - February had seasonal rain and snow breaking the drought. The ephemeral puddles on Featherbed Lane were at two-thirds capacity and the marshy field was dry, indicating that the underlying ground water level was not yet completely restored. Then came the record-breaking snow of 17" on Feb 16-17. Three inches of rain followed on Feb 22-23 and temperatures in the teens froze the remaining 12" of snow into a thick, hard shield. Deer stripped shrubs and trees at a higher level, and birds flocked to feeders for survival. Because drought preempted the usual fruit crops, the hundreds of Robins (all but 12), the eight Cedar Waxwings, two Hermit Thrushes, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Flicker did not stay beyond December. No Turkeys were seen. There were 43 species in all.

Snow Goose1200 flying south on Dec 15
Canada Goosethroughout
Black Vulture25 Jan; 8 on Feb 4 & 6
Turkey Vulturesthroughout
Sharp-shinned HawkDec 15
Red-shouldered HawkJan 25
Red-tailed Hawkthroughout
Ruffed GrouseDec 15
Mourning Dove15+, throughout
Eastern Screech Owlred phase, in tree cavity Dec 27, Feb 14, 16 (Janet Speck)
Great Horned Owlpair calling Dec, Jan
Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Pileated Woodpeckersthroughout
Jays and Crowsstable throughout
Black-capped and Carolina Chickadeesthroughout
Tufted Titmouse6 pr throughout, singing mid Feb
White-breasted Nuthatches3 pr throughout
Carolina Wrens2 throughout
Eastern BluebirdsDec 15, Jan, Feb 22
Ruby-crowned Kinglet18 Dec
Northern Mockingbird2 throughout
European Starlingflocks 30+ throughout
Northern Cardinal6 Males 5 females throughout
American Tree Sparrow2 throughout
Fox SparrowFeb 25
Song Sparrow2
White-throated Sparrows20
Juncos12 throughout
Common Grackle200 overhead, Feb 1,Feb 28, two
Brown-headed Cowbird2, Feb 24
Redwinged BlackbirdFeb 24
Purple Finch7 on Dec 15, 6 on Feb 15 (Janet Speck)
House Finchfew throughout
American Goldfinchthroughout
House Sparrowfew throughout

Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew  

Last revision: Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 10:34