Yowzers was it warm today! T-shirt weather! Beth and I took a ride to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge this evening. The place was hopping with birds and birders. There have been some rather well-known Long-eared Owls roosting there. They're well-known thanks to a birder posting exact directions to our NJ mailing list. Oops! Well, we went and checked them out and they were indeed very accommodating. This was Beth's first Long-eared Owl sighting! Keep reading below for other thrills.
We also saw an adult Red-headed Woodpecker that's been hanging around there all winter. It was too distant to photograph, but it was a beauty. Wood Ducks were conspicuous with groups flying over and calling repeatedly. Ring-necked Ducks were also bobbing and diving on several areas of open water. I can't stress how awesome the weather was.
We finished the day at dusk looking for Woodcocks displaying. We heard quite a few "peenting" and got looks at one repeatedly doing its flight display. I love that. It's always a challenge to find them in flight, but we were able to spot one individual a few different times. A sure sign of spring are the woodcocks displaying.