19 Raptors at Chimney Rock Hawkwatch, NJ, Sep. 1, 2014

Chimney Rock
Martinsville, NJ, USA
Daily Raptor Counts : 9/1/2014

Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
BV 0 0 0
TV 0 0 0
OS 12 12 12
BE 3 3 3
NH 1 1 1
SS 0 0 0
CH 0 0 0
NG 0 0 0
RS 0 0 0
BW 1 1 1
RT 0 0 0
RL 0 0 0
GE 0 0 0
AK 0 0 0
ML 0 0 0
PG 2 2 2
UI 0 0 0
Total 19 19 19
Hours 9.5 9.5 9.5

Notes : Good first day with 19 migrant raptors. Light west wind and very
hot reaching 94°. Not a very productive warbler day but a good
mix of common passerines. A nice surprise was a Giant
Swallowtail butterfly, the first record I’m aware of at the Whttps://mocosoco.wordpress.com/?p=16841&preview=trueatch

John Kee

Daily Totals
Hourly Stats Report
Bird Checklist Query
2014 Summary (Standard)
Species Checklist for Sept 1, 2014

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4 Raptors at Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch, NJ, Sep. 1, 2014

Wildcat Ridge
Hibernia, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 01, 2014
Species Day’s Count Month Total Season Total
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 1 1 5
Bald Eagle 1 1 6
Northern Harrier 0 0 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 0 0 0
Cooper’s Hawk 1 1 4
Northern Goshawk 0 0 0
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 0 0
Broad-winged Hawk 1 1 2
Red-tailed Hawk 0 0 0
Golden Eagle 0 0 0
American Kestrel 0 0 4
Merlin 0 0 1
Peregrine Falcon 0 0 0
Unknown Raptor 0 0 2
Total: 4 4 24

 

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter Fred Vanderburgh
Observers: Nora O., Mike L., Tom G.

Visitors:
Visitors = a very tired 39 visitors.

Weather:
Temperature 73-85 degrees, hazy hot and humid, visibility 5-7 miles, variable cloud cover 30-85%, calm wind shifting from the SW to NW at 3-8 mph.

Raptor Observations:
Osprey and Coop spotted early in the day then nothing thill a ABE (2:20)and a BW came through. Minimal local RT and vulture activity.

Non-raptor Observations:
6 hummers passed by as well as a few Monarchs.

Report submitted by Fred Vanderburgh
Wildcat Ridge information may be found at: http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/wldcthwk.htm

 

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American Golden-Plover and other field notes, Sep. 1, 2014

American Golden-Plover, Montgomery Twp., NJ, Aug. 31, 2014 (photo by Carolyn Arnesen)

American Golden-Plover, Montgomery Twp., NJ, Aug. 31, 2014 (photo by Carolyn Arnesen)

The first American Golden-Plover of the season in Somerset County was photographed by Carolyn Arnesen yesterday, Aug. 31, at Skillman Park, the southern neighbor to Selody Sod Farm in Montgomery Twp.

Today, 71 Killdeer, 1 Solitary and 1 Pectoral Sandpiper are reported from Selody Sod Farm (Jeff Ellerbusch).


Common Nighthawks are migrating. 17 were tallied in Chatham Twp. on Aug. 30 (Simon Lane).


An Olive-sided Flycatcher was eBirded from Kinnelon, Aug. 30 (William Whitehead).


At least 3 Little Blue Herons continue at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits as of Aug. 30. 13 Green Herons were catching frogs on the invasive water chestnut mat. 2 Semipalmated Plovers, 15 Killdeer, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 5 Lesser Yellowlegs and 34 Least Sandpipers represented the shorebirds until a Cooper’s Hawk flushed most of them out of the area (J. Klizas).


The last report of the Short-billed Dowitcher at Glenhurst Meadows is Aug. 30 (m.obs.).

Mike Newlon photographed the following Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and immature Red-headed Woodpecker at Glenhurst Meadows, Aug. 29.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Red-headed Woodpecker, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Red-headed Woodpecker, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by Mike Newlon)


Fall Hawk Watch Season – 2014

The Chimney Rock Hawk Watch commenced today.

The Wildcat Ridge Fall Hawk Watch in Rockaway Twp. began August 16. The hawkcount.org page for Wildcat Ridge is here. Selecting the Data Inventory tab will eventually get you to the data for 2014.

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The Passenger Pigeon in New Jersey, Sep. 1, 2014

Martha, the last known Passenger Pigeon, Cincinnati Zoo, 1914.

Martha, the last known Passenger Pigeon, Cincinnati Zoo, 1914.

September 1, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Martha, the last known Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius). Project Passenger Pigeon  is compiling documentation from myriad sources presenting the story of what was formerly the most abundant bird in North America, and probably the world, and the actions of Homo sapiens that caused its rapid extinction.

Project Passenger Pigeon states its mission as:”…an international effort to commemorate this anniversary and use it not only as an opportunity to familiarize people with this remarkable species, but also to raise awareness of current issues related to human-caused extinction, explore connections between humans and the natural world, and inspire people to become more involved in building a sustainable relationship with other species.”

As stated in many written accounts, the number of Passenger Pigeons darkened the sky for hours, if not days. We in the 21st century cannot comprehend this spectacle since there is no equivalent. As Alexander Wilson wrote in 1812: “…the most remarkable characteristic of these birds is their associating together, both in their migrations, and also during the period of incubation, in such prodigious numbers, as almost to surpass belief; and which has no parallel among any of the other feathered tribes on earth, with which naturalists are acquainted” [excerpted from p. 33 of The Birds of North America edited by Jacob H. Studer with John Graham Bell and Frank Michler Chapman, published in 1888 by The Natural Science Association of America. This book is available at Google Books].

Project Passenger Pigeon has a link for all fifty of the United States and the provinces of Canada, where information about the species and the particular state and province may be found. The main breeding range of the Passenger Pigeon fell outside of New Jersey although they did nest sporadically in Sussex and probably Warren, Morris and Passaic Counties. They were seen in all months of the year in New Jersey, at times in extraordinary numbers.

There are two known accounts from Morris County that mocosocoBirds is aware of: one, a report from Sept. 16, 1798 of migrating birds over Morristown (Schorger), and secondly, E.C. Thurber’s account: “Formerly very abundant, but now rare. I saw one that was shot at Morris Plains, Sept. 16, 1885.” There are no known written records from Somerset County.


Passenger Pigeon Links

The New Jersey section of Project Passenger Pigeon is here. Information on Schorger’s document is in the New Jersey section.

The New Jersey State Museum currently has a Passenger Pigeon exhibit from August 30, 2014 through June 27, 2015: A Shadow Over The Earth: The Life & Death of the Passenger Pigeon. A link for that exhibit is here.

The Cincinnati Zoo’s Passenger Pigeon memorial is here.

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History also has information on Martha and the Passenger Pigeon here.

On the positive side of preservation, American Bird Conservancy reports that one of our breeding warblers, the Cerulean Warbler, has new protected wintering grounds in the northern Andes of Ecuador. That story can be read here.

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Friday Bird Notes, Aug. 29, 2014

Morris Shorebirds

Semipalmated Plover, Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Semipalmated Plover, Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The Lincoln Park Gravel Pits, (The Pits), continue as the only reliable shorebird location in Morris County. Although not exactly “Little Brig”, this is the time and place for as much shorebird diversity as one can find in Morris.

The shorebird list from The Pits today includes 4 Semipalmated Plovers (including one in the heavily cropped photo above) and 4 Semipalmated Sandpipers. Do not snicker, these are high counts for these two species in this part of the world. Also present were 20 Killdeer, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 4 Lesser Yellowlegs and 17 Least Sandpipers.

4 Little Blue Herons, 5 Great Blue Herons, 4 Great Egrets and 10 Green Herons were busy eating frogs.

Songbird migration was light although the Tennessee Warbler pictured below put in an appearance.

Tennessee Warbler,  Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

Tennessee Warbler, Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

An Osprey and a Northern Harrier (pictured below) represented the raptors. A mink, which almost ran into this observer yesterday, was not seen today.

Northern Harrier,  Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

Northern Harrier, Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 29, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

As stated in this space before, The Pits is a difficult place to get around in. It was a well-birded location in decades past but has fallen into birding neglect due to accessibility issues, etc. There is one public access, the berm separating the municipal swimming lake and the main lake of The Pits. After that you are on your own. The Pits, which is privately owned, is currently leased to a hunting club. It is mentioned in mocosocoBirds to keep it in the public consciousness and in the hope that, someday, it will pass into the proper conservation and nature-minded hands.


Chimney Rock

13 species of warblers were observed at Chimney Rock this morning including Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Magnolia, Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue and Canada Warblers (Jeff Ellerbusch). Common Nighthawk and Least Flycatcher were also tallied.


Other Bird Notes

The Short-billed Dowitcher of Glenhurst Meadows continues for a third day (m.obs.). The original post from Aug. 27 is here.

A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was seen along the White Bridge Wilderness Trail, Great swamp NWR this afternoon (Simon Lane).

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Thursday Bird Notes, Aug. 28, 2014

The Pits

Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers, Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 28, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers, Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 28, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The heavily cropped photo above illustrates a clear difference between a dark-legged, light-colored, straight-billed juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper (uncommon in Morris and Somerset Counties) and a brown, greenish-legged, slightly decurved-billed juvenile Least Sandpiper (the default peep in Morris and Somerset) . They were part of the shorebird gallery today at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits (a.k.a. The Pits).

A Glossy Ibis and Pectoral Sandpiper were seen at The Pits in the morning (Roger Johnson). Glossy Ibis is another species, along with Little Blue Heron and Snowy Egret, reported much more than usual in 2014 in the mocosocoBirds region. Shorebirds at The Pits include 25 Killdeer, 1 Greater and 8 Lesser Yellowlegs, 12 Least Sandpipers, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 1 Pectoral Sandpiper and 2 Spotted Sandpipers. 4 Little Blue Herons and the usual Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Green Herons were scattered about.  Frogs in the invasive Water Chestnut mat have little chance for longevity with the many Green Herons and Little Blue Herons eating them up.


Chimney Rock

Favorable overnight conditions created a gentle migration push early this morning. Chimney Rock reported Least and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Ovenbird, 8 Black-and white Warblers, Tennessee Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, 20 American Redstarts, 10 Magnolia Warblers, Bay-breasted Warbler, 6 Blackburnian Warblers, 10 Chestnut-sided Warblers, 1 Black-throated Blue Warbler, 3 Black-throated Green Warblers and 2 Canada Warblers (Jeff Ellerbusch).


Radar

Use this link, tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/uscompjs.html, to monitor reflectivity radar and see where the birds are at dawn.

An FAQ section on reading the radar is presented at the new director of Cape May Bird Observatory, Dave La Puma’s, venerable Woodcreeper.com web site and can be found here.

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Short-billed Dowitcher at Glenhurst Meadows, Aug. 27, 2014

Short-billed Dowitcher, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 27, 2014 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

Short-billed Dowitcher, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 27, 2014 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

A Short-billed Dowitcher was found at Glenhurst Meadows this morning by Jim Mulvey. It was still in the northwest pond at dusk. This is the second Short-billed Dowitcher in Somerset County this month, with the first on August 14 at Negri-Nepote. This is newsworthy because Short-billed Dowitcher is rare in both Morris and Somerset Counties.

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Philadelphia Vireo, other field notes, Aug. 26, 2014

Philadelphia Vireo, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 26, 2014 (photo by Robert Gallucci)

Philadelphia Vireo, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 26, 2014 (photo by Robert Gallucci)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Philadelphia Vireo (PHVI) sightings raise interest due to the relative scarcity of valid reports in the north New Jersey region. There are yellowish Warbling Vireos this time of year as well as warblers of a similar appearance that can add to the identification confusion. The PHVI reported from Glenhurst Meadows this morning (Marc Chelemer and Robert Gallucci) is supported by Rob Gallucci’s photograph which displays enough field marks for a solid identification.

Other species reported at Glenhurst today include Black-and-white Warbler, 2 Nashville Warblers (with photograph), Common Yellowthroat, American Redstarts, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow Warbler and Chestnut-sided Warbler. Two Red-headed Woodpeckers were near the river. 6 Least Sandpipers, 3 Solitary Sandpipers and 1 Killdeer were also present.


Least Sandpipers are the expected peep at Glenhurst Meadows and throughout the mocosocoBirds region. Every year there are erroneous reports of Semipalmated Sandpipers at Glenhurst and other local birding sites – a checklist reporting Semipalmated Sandpipers and zero Least Sandpipers is a red flag. Please be careful in identifying small shorebirds. If it is a peep in Morris and Somerset Counties it is probably a Least Sandpiper. Semipalmated Sandpipers are uncommon in Somerset and almost rare in Morris.


Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Timberbrook Lake, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Aug. 26, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Timberbrook Lake, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Aug. 26, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The above photograph is of an Empidonax flycatcher seen this morning at Timberbrook Lake in Rockaway Township. The bird has a yellow cast over its entire body. It is smaller than a Red-eyed Vireo which was nearby. This eliminates Acadian and any other eastern empid except Least (LEFL) and Yellow-bellied (YBFL). The yellowish eye-ring strongly favors YBFL as does the overall greenish back and green-olive flanks (not clearly visible in the photo). The primary projection and shape of the wing tips suggest YBFL as described and critically compared with other species of the Empidonax complex in the American Birding Association article, Identifying Empinonax Flycatchers: The Ratio Approach by Forest Rowland , published in the March 2009 issue of Birding and available as a PDF online.

To quote the article: “If the tips of the primaries appear wide and rounded, they are likely short, as in Least and Dusky Flycatchers. If the primaries appear more tapered and pointed, that corresponds to a medium or long primary projection as seen in Yellow-bellied and “Traill’s” Flycatchers. And if the primaries appear slightly bowed or sword-shaped, as in Acadian and Hammond’s Flycatchers, that indicates especially long primary projection.”

The pictured Empid shows tapered wing tips. If the reader is unsure of the distinction between rounded and tapered wingtips, visit Vireo and look at Least Flycatcher photos to see the rounded tips illustrated.

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Sunday Bird Notes, Aug. 24, 2014

What were 4 Little Blue Herons at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits on August 21 became 5 this afternoon continuing the Little Blue Heron Summer of 2014. Also present were 7 Great Blue Herons, 8 Great Egrets, 3 Green Herons and an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron. 21 Killdeer, 5 Lesser Yellowlegs and 12 Least Sandpipers were tallied on the shorebird ledger.

Lesser Yellowlegs en pointe, Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 24, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Lesser Yellowlegs en pointe, Lincoln Park, NJ, Aug. 24, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Little Blue Herons are the main story this summer in Morris County with the 5 at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits and 7 at Melanie Lane Wetlands. Not to be overlooked is the diminutive member of the Ardeids, the Green Heron. 7 were at Melanie late this afternoon. Green Herons will be found in double-digit numbers in appropriate wetlands at the current time.

Green Heron, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 24, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

Green Heron, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 24, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)


Timberbrook Lake, NJ, (iPhone panorama by J. Klizas)

Timberbrook Lake, NJ, (iPhone panorama by J. Klizas)


Migrant songbirds were evident this morning at Timberbrook Lake in Rockaway Township with Ovenbird, Worm-eating Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Magnolia and Chestnut-sided Warblers. This interesting location also had numerous Eastern Phoebes and Eastern Wood-Pewees, an adult Bald Eagle, Spotted Sandpiper, Great Blue and Green Herons, etc. 3 Common Nighthawks flew over Jacobs Road.


From Ken Hart:
“Flyover Osprey at Willowwood Arboretum at 7pm.”


Robert Gallucci tallied the following species at Glenhurst Meadows August 24 and 25: 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers; Warbler species including Blue-winged, Black-and White, Tennessee, Hooded, American Redstart, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green, Canada, and Common Yellowthroat.

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Olive-sided Flycatcher, other field notes, Aug. 23, 2014

From Tim Vogel:
Timberbrook Pond (off Jacobs Rd., Rockaway Township)
Olive-sided Flycatcher (1)
Other flycatchers: Eastern Phoebe (6), Eastern Wood-Pewee (1), E. Kingbird (3), Gr. Crested Flycatcher (1), Empids -several.
Barn Swallow – lots
Cliff Swallow – 1 ( at least)


25 basic-plumaged Bobolinks were in a field at Willowbrook Arboretum, Chester Township this afternoon (J. Klizas).

The following Red-tailed Hawk enjoyed a late morning meal near the Fenske Visitors Center, Great Swamp NWR.

Red-tailed Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Aug. 23, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Red-tailed Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Aug. 23, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos (H. palustris)) is abundant in the Great Swamp right now.

Swamp Rose Mallow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Aug. 23, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

Swamp Rose Mallow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Aug. 23, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

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