Monday, April 25, 2011

Bear Swamp IBA • April 21-22

Planning my annual trip back home to South Jersey to visit my family, I discovered that there was an Important Bird Area (IBA) just a couple of miles down the road from my parents' house: Bear Swamp IBA. After arriving in town in the afternoon, there was time for a quick reconnaissance hike.

There are two main access points from Hawkin Road. This was by the power lines where there is a wide sand road that can walked under the power lines. It was not very birdy this particular trip.

All along Hawkin Road you see the signs marking this reserve.

The second access point is by a small wooden bridge over a little stream that is a bird magnet. Here is a picturesque view of the swamp near the stream.

Palm Warbler. I only really had one bird photo-op on this quick trip, but it was a good one! This Palm Warbler was probably migrating through the area.

Palm Warbler

Along the stream are a number of Prothonotary Warbler nesting boxes. I didn't find any birds around them on my recon run.

Prothonotary Warbler. Early the next morning I was able to make a proper birding run and immediately hit pay dirt when the nesting box shown in the previous picture was being inspected by a Prothonotary Warbler!

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Mourning Dove. There were several other birds, mostly heard, in this area. The swamp vegetation, even without leaves, is quite dense and provides ideal cover.

Prothonotary Warbler Nesting Box. These boxes looked like slightly oversized bluebird boxes or slightly undersized Wood Duck boxes.

Prothonotary Warbler Nesting Box. I didn't find boxes 1 through 5.

Downy Woodpecker. On the way back down the road, I stopped by the power lines and found this woodpecker enjoying a very *loud* snag to hammer! :-)

Location:     Bear Swamp IBA--Little Creek 
Observation date:     4/21/11
Number of species:     3

Fish Crow     1
Carolina Chickadee     1
Palm Warbler     1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

Location:     Bear Swamp IBA--Little Creek 
Observation date:     4/22/11
Number of species:     27

Canada Goose     4
Cooper's Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Mourning Dove     2
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     1
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Eastern Phoebe     1
Blue Jay     3
Carolina Chickadee     5
Tufted Titmouse     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
Carolina Wren     2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     3
Gray Catbird     1
Yellow-rumped Warbler     1
Pine Warbler     1
Palm Warbler     1
Black-and-white Warbler     1
Prothonotary Warbler     1
Ovenbird     2
Eastern Towhee     3
Swamp Sparrow     2
White-throated Sparrow     5
Northern Cardinal     2
Brown-headed Cowbird     5
American Goldfinch     3

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(