New Birder in Central New Jersey: Flickers, RW Blackbirds, and Thingies (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hello there!

I'm a new birder (2-months and the obsession still hasn't worn off!!)

Took a great walk to the edge of marshlands just below my new home. Wonderful!! There's a huge section of wetlands which border Cheesequake State Park. The stream which flows through the wetlands empties into the bay here at the shore of the Atlantic. I often see large egrets/herons from a distance, but as of yet, have no way of getting near enough to ID. However, from my vantage point, I can see many:

Red-wing blackbirds
Gray Catbirds
(Carolina?) Chickadees
1 Northern Flicker (yellow underwings)
Mourning Doves
Tree Swallows
Red-tailed Hawks (?)
tons of unidentifiable thingies...

That is the beauty and the frustration of being a new birder. So many IDs and still so many more to plow through! I can't wait!!!

Thanks for being a part of this community.

Hi Jarrod,

Welcome to BirdForum!

I reckon you have got all your identifications correct there, they are all reasonably common birds in that area. Of your chickadee, the range boundary between Black-capped Chickadee and Carolina Chickadee in NJ is cited as along the Raritan River - so you are right next to where the two meet and interbreed. South of the Raritan, I guess you'd better call it a Carolina (though it could be a hybrid, of course!)



Mod Squad
Greetings, Jarrod, and a warm welcome to you on behalf of all the staff here at Birdforum!

You're in a great area for some terrific birding, as you're finding out. And your location sounds terrific.

Don't worry, those identifications will come in time. As for the chickadees -- start learning their songs. I'm right on the range boundry of BCs and Carolinas here in Indiana, and the overlapping area can certainly seem pretty wide! The differences in appearance are subtle (to me), and the youngsters seem to try out both sets of calls before settling on the one appropriate to their species!

Looking forward to your contributions here. Enjoy yourself!


Well-known member
Hello jward,
You've probably seen Great Blue Herons, right?
Whenever someone says that they're from New Jersey, I think that they are probably birding at Cape May, and seeing lots of different birds. Have you ever been over there? Have you ever seen a Black Skimmer? Do you know what that is?
I just want to be 'talking' to you a lot. I'd like you to tell me, or rather all of us, about some of the best birding times that you will be having. I know that you will have some good ones!

Larry Lade

Staff member
Jarrod, New Jersey has so many great places to go birding. I have been there a few times and always enjoy myself very much. Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (formerly the Brigantine, or the "Brig" for short) is a great place. There are quite a few wild life refuges around. I know you will be visiting a lot of them.

Welcome to the BIRDFORUM!

"So many birds and so little time..........."


Well-known member
Thanks everyone for the great comments.

I've seen quite a few herons (a few peeling across the sky above my home!!) but am having difficulty getting through the marsh to get a close-up. I will endeavor to rent a canoe from someone at the actual beachhead and row inland into the marsh. That should be spectacular!

I have been to Cape May once, but this was pre-birding although I still enjoyed myself.

I will be sure to go there this fall to do some raptor watching. I'll be sure to also fill everyone in on what I see in the coming weeks/months.

I recently put up two birdhouses this weekend, but as of yet have had no visible visitors... I did see an American Goldfinch this am on a tree, but on the wrong side of my house!!! HA!!!


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