Broken clouds, light snow
Broken clouds, light snow
17.6 °F
December 13, 2017
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Opportunistic wildlife viewing

This variegated fritillary (Eupoieta claudia) is somewhat unusual to see in this region, being more common in areas to the south of us. This is not the first record of this species in Sussex County, NJ, but it appears to be the first time it has been recorded at Sunrise Mountain.
TRR photos by Scott Rando

October 12, 2016

How many times have you gone on a bird walk and happened across an otter, bear, or other animal that was not on the day’s agenda of expected wildlife to see. You might be in a bird blind and all of a sudden, a bobcat walks across a game trail in front of the blind (and too close to focus with your long birding lens). It’s always good to expect the unexpected. The time I was out trying to find a reported injured eagle and instead, found a few timber rattlesnakes (a group of gravid females basking on some rocks) was probably a good example.

Most of the time, opportunistic observation of wildlife can be interesting and fun, and some people go out of their way to check on what may be hiding in the bushes or near a stream bank. During the hawk migration counting at Sunrise Mountain occurring now, I have seen a lot more than hawks, falcons and eagles during my time up there. All the images in this week’s column were taken within the last month at that site.