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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey


Winter 2007
Hannah Suthers

Weather was mild, in the 20s at night, 40-50 during day, with periodic rain keeping the ground muddy. On December 15 snow, ice, fallen trees and wires, and drizzle ushered in the Audubon Christmas Count when members of the bird banding crew and a feeder watcher saw 29 species at the Featherbed Lane banding station vicinity, Hopewell.Two cold snaps in January sent temperatures to the teens (Jan 3, 20-21) and two spikes Jan 8 and Feb 6 sent temperatures to the 60s. On Feb 12 a messy winter storm with snow, then ice covered the landscape, followed by rain. On Feb 15-18 the Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count yielded 36 species at the station. A front roaring up from the Gulf brought a female Baltimore Oriole to my neighborhood feeders on Feb 19, 20, 22, last seen Feb 27. Censusing indicated that winter birds were thriving at feeders and field. Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Purple Finches were at my home feeder in Hopewell throughout. Species during the winter period at the banding station vicinity totaled 40.

Highlights are as follows, (numbers) seen throughout unless indicated by dates:

Black Vulture over Feb 8, 20+ at Hart Ave roost Jan 12
Turkey Vultures (pr), 80+ at Hart Ave roost Jan 12
Red-shouldered Hawk Feb 17
Red-tailed Hawk (2)
Cooper's Hawk Dec 17
Downy (12), Hairy (5), Red-bellied (9), Pileated Woodpecker (pr)
Common Flicker
Chickadees, Black-capped (9), Carolina (13), Hybrid (2)
Tufted Titmouse (24)
White-breasted Nuthatch (6)
Carolina Wren (4)
Northern Mockingbird (2)
Eastern Bluebird (8)
American Robin, northern subspecies (30)
Cedar Waxwing 16 Feb (2)
American Tree Sparrow, 17 Dec (5), 15 & 25 Feb (4)
Song Sparrow (4)
White-throated Sparrow (46) & Junco (52)
American Goldfinch (44)
House Finch (5)
Red-winged Blackbird, 14 Feb (1), 15 Feb (3), 27 Feb (100)
Rusty Blackbird 26 Feb (350)
Brown-headed Cowbird, 15 Feb (2)
Common Grackle peaks 13 Dec (75) 30 Dec (2000+), 13 Jan (1000), 7 Feb (100)

Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew  

Last revision: Friday, March 14, 2008