I guess this NJ Birds editor job is paying off! I got a note today from someone at NJ Audubon asking me to check out a report of a Western Tanager at a feeder in nearby Plainfield. I gave the homeowner a call and found out that it was someone I actually knew. I had birded her yard during the Raritan Estuary Xmas Count twice. Her yard was a hotspot for a wintering Brown Thrasher for several years.
So anyway, I went to check out the bird and was very confident that the owner was correct in her ID. I arrived at the house and within minutes a gorgeous male Western Tanager landed on the feeder. Huzzah! I got some crappy pictures through the window of her kitchen. The pic above was the best of them. This represents one of only a handful of spring records for Western Tanager in NJ.