Tuesday Bird Notes, Mar. 3, 2015

Snow, sleet, rain, traffic jams, Morristown, NJ, Mar. 3, 2015 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Snow, sleet, rain, traffic jams, Morristown, NJ, Mar. 3, 2015 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Anyone out and about between 4-7 PM this evening may understand the above scene: traffic in the Morristown area, and probably everywhere else in the region ,with every major road, jammed and backed up. What’s a little snow, sleet, rain and a temperature below freezing during the evening rush hour?

Seventeen days to the Vernal Equinox on March 20, 2015.


Chris Duffek photographed this Red-shouldered Hawk at Duke Island Park today.

Red-shouldered Hawk, Duke Island Park, NJ, Mar. 3, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

Red-shouldered Hawk, Duke Island Park, NJ, Mar. 3, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

Also at Duke Island Park: the male and female Redheads, 2 Greater Scaup hens and Red-breasted Merganser continue on the Raritan River.


From Hillsborough Township, Vicki Schwartz reports Rough-legged Hawk and Red-shouldered Hawk along Beekman Lane. The farm fields along River Road, south of South Branch Rd., continue with Horned Larks in diminished numbers and the Ring-billed Gulls, Canada Geese, Mallards and Crows that are daily throughout the winter.


Up to 4 Rough-legged Hawks were seen at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve on Monday, March 3 (Jacob Socolar via eBird).

This week may be the last hurrah for Rough-legged Hawks in New Jersey this season. Below is a screen shot of an eBird data generated bar graph for Rough-legged Hawk in the entire state. Clicking on the image will take you to the live format on the eBird web site.


Finally, Pine Siskins continue to be widely reported from feeders throughout Morris and Somerset Counties.


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


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Saturday Bird Notes, Feb. 28, 2015

Lake Hopatcong

Lake Hopatcong looking north from Bertrands Is., Feb. 28, 2015 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Lake Hopatcong looking north from Bertrands Is., Feb. 28, 2015 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The pumps at the docks of the yacht club on Bertrands Island, Lake Hopatcong are keeping a minimum amount of water from freezing. The rest of the largest freshwater lake in New Jersey is an ice fisherman’s paradise. If you think the lake is a boat-centric body of water in the summer (it is!), you should see the amount of snowmobile and ATV tracks on the snow covered ice right now.

Greater Scaup, 2 Redheads, Lk. Hopatcong, NJ, Feb. 28, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Greater Scaup, 2 Redheads, Lk. Hopatcong, NJ, Feb. 28, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

What any small amount of water will attract when everything else is frozen. This section of open water had the following waterfowl this frigid morning: 2 Mute Swans, 2 Redhead drakes, 1 Greater Scaup hen, 1 Common Goldeneye hen, 4 Hooded Mergansers and 4 American Coot.

American Coots, Lk. Hopatcong, NJ, Feb. 28, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

American Coots, Lk. Hopatcong, NJ, Feb. 28, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Rough-legged Hawks

From Ted Chase:
Rough-legged Hawks were harder to come by at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve today – observers sitting in the middle with poised scopes weren’t seeing them – but by making the circuit of the edges I saw: one dark morph Rough-legged flying along the west edge of the property; probably another, way on the south side of Skillman Lane; and a light morph bird approximately over the bend in Skillman Lane just north of the parking lot (seen by others over the parking lot). Also two Northern Harriers and two Red-tailed Hawks; and about four American Tree Sparrows at the southwest corner. – Ted Chase, Franklin Township

Chuck Hantis saw two light morph Rough-legged Hawks at the Great Swamp NWR early this morning.

Yesterday, Feb. 27 from Arlene Oley:
I took a quick ride at lunch time and a dark phase Rough-legged Hawk is still on South Middlebush between Suydam Rd. and Jacques Lane. Also on Jacques lane was Fox Sparrow, Kestrel and lots of LBB’s but not enough time. As I headed back towards Griggstown along Canal Road I had a Red-shouldered Hawk. – Arlene R. Oley, Kingston, NJ


Black Vulture chin scratcher

Black Vulture, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Feb. 28, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Black Vulture, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Feb. 28, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

One of 25 Black Vultures at the Green Pond Road roost this morning. No Turkey Vultures were present at 7:30 this morning.


Other Field Notes

In keeping with the theme of “whatever open water there is in Morris County may have waterfowl in it”, Robert Stapperfenne had a Northern Pintail drake, 3 Hooded Mergansers, 29 Mallards and a Great Blue Heron at Great Brook on Dickson’s Mill Road, Harding Twp. today.

From Ken Hart:
An adult Bald Eagle was eating a deer carcass on the frozen river at the SW end of Burnt Mills Road, near Rattlesnake Bridge Rd. (Bedminster Twp.). Along Burnt Mills Rd: 8 Eastern Bluebirds.


Sandy Hook, NJ – out of range for mocosocoBirds, but a gray morph sub-adult Gyrfalcon spotted by Scott Barnes and Linda Mack today at Sandy Hook is certainly worth mentioning. Although this observer was not fortunate to see this magnificent falcon, anyone and everyone should journey to the Hook and witness the extraordinary mass of Greater Scaup, Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks on the ocean side, from approximately parking area E going north. It is a line of duckage as far as one can see. The numbers on eBird put this well over 100,000 birds. It is worth the trip just to see this.


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


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Rough-legged Hawks, other field notes, Feb. 27, 2015

Rough-legged Hawks in Somerset County

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 27, 2015 (photo by Steve Byland)

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 27, 2015 (photo by Steve Byland)

Rough-legged Hawks continue at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve with 6 reported by Steve Byland today. Two were dark-morph individuals.

Another light morph Rough-legged Hawk was seen at Duke Farms by Vicki Schwartz.


The two Redheads, two Greater Scaup and Red-breasted Merganser continue at Duke Island Park (John J. Collins via eBird). Photos of these ducks appear in yesterday’s mocosocoBirds post here.


The mass of birds spending the winter at the manure covered farm fields on River Road, south of South Branch Road in Hillsborough Township, continue with 150+ Horned Larks, Ring-billed Gulls, hundreds of Crows and Canada Geese, Rock Pigeons, an occasional raptor, etc.


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


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Ducks of Duke Island Park, Feb. 26, 2015

Red-breasted Merganser, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 26, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Red-breasted Merganser, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 26, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The ducks of the Raritan River are the main highlight of the bird life of Morris and Somerset Counties at the moment. This is a way of saying that not much is currently happening on the bird front in this region. The Duke Island Park specialties continue to inhabit the open water accessible via the picnic area marked Jaycee Grove at the park and Jaycee Rd. on the map. This is the west most parking lot of the park.

Redheads, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 26, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Redheads, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 26, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Below are the two Greater Scaup present on the Raritan River the past three days.

Greater Scaup, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 26, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Greater Scaup, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 26, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


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Sandhill Cranes, Ducks, Feb. 25, 2015

Sandhill Cranes in Franklin Township

This afternoon, 2 Sandhill Cranes were in the corn stubble north of the Manville Causeway. There were possibly more cranes but viewing was difficult. The Manville Causeway (Wilhousky St. if coming from Millstone or Manville) is currently a detour route for Main Street in Millstone. There were a LOT of cars on the road and barely a shoulder to stop on.

This is the only report of the Franklin Twp. Sandhill Cranes in the month of February, 2015 according to the eBird database and the first report since approximately January 17. The cranes remain in the area despite the cold temperatures and snow.


Ducks on the Raritan River, Franklin Township

Common Goldeneye on the Raritan River, Franklin Twp., NJ, Feb. 25, 2015

Common Goldeneye on the Raritan River, Franklin Twp., NJ, Feb. 25, 2015

Yesterday’s mocosocoBirds post (here) described the waterfowl in the Raritan River near Duke Island Park. This afternoon, a walk down the icy and snow covered Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath from Demott Lane south for .8 of a mile produced the following waterfowl:

1 American Wigeon, 36 Ring-necked Ducks, 1 Lesser Scaup hen, 8 Bufflehead, 30 Common Goldeneye, 4 Hooded Mergansers, 12 Common Mergansers along with numerous Mallards, a few American Black Ducks and Canada Geese.

Despite the ice in the above photo, this stretch of the Raritan River from Weston Canal Road and continuing along Easton Avenue is completely open. A walk north from Demott Lane would add to the waterfowl totals as would continuing further south on the towpath. Landing Lane Bridge to the south is in Middlesex County as the county borders take a funny bend and turn in that area.

Incidentally, yesterday’s ducks continue today at Duke Island Park as the 2 Greater Scaup, 2 Redheads, Red-breasted Merganser, et al, were reported by various people today.


The White-crowned Sparrow in the following photo, assuming it is the same individual, has spent the entire winter on a short stretch of Opie Road, Branchburg Twp.

White-crowned Sparrow, Branchburg Twp., NJ, Feb. 25, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

White-crowned Sparrow, Branchburg Twp., NJ, Feb. 25, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via

eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter

is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The

latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


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Ducks in the Raritan River, Feb. 24, 2015

Greater Scaup, Redheads, Red-breasted Merganser

Greater Scaup with Ring-necked Ducks, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Greater Scaup with Ring-necked Ducks, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image)

Duke Island Park continues to have a view of the remaining open water on the Raritan River in western Somerset County. The same section may be viewed from River Road in Hillsborough but with much difficulty and uncertain safety.

Redhead with Ring-necked Ducks, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Redhead with Ring-necked Ducks, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A male and female Redhead are settled here for the past week. 12 Ring-necked Ducks were with them this afternoon. 2 Greater Scaup hens are the highlight of the day. This is not a species often encountered in Somerset County although one Greater Scaup female was at this location during the same time period in 2014.

Greater Scaup with Ring-necked Ducks, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Greater Scaup with Ring-necked Ducks, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A Red-breasted Merganser drake has also been in this area for the past two weeks.

Red-breasted and Common Merganser drakes in the glare, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Red-breasted and Common Merganser drakes in the glare, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


Posted in Morris County, Somerset County | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Monday Bird Notes, Feb. 23, 2015

Rough-legged Hawks are still in the news. Mike Newlon reports 3 Rough-legged Hawks (2 light, 1 dark) at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 21, 2015 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 21, 2015 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 21, 2015 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 21, 2015 (photo by Mike Newlon)


From Vicki Schwartz at Duke Island Park, Sun. Feb. 22, 2015:
“1 male and 1 female Redhead, 1 male Red-breasted Merganser, 1 male Bufflehead, along with the usual Mallards and Black Ducks, and a very chilly-looking Great Blue Heron standing on the ice in the river, near the ducks.”

[Editor’s note: The Redheads were reported from several people today in the few stretches of open water near Duke Island Park.]


Pine Siskins continue to be widely reported at feeders through the weekend.


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


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The Somerset Rough-legged Hawk Report, Feb. 19, 2015

From Hank Burk at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve:
At 11:00:
1 dark phase Rough-legged Hawk
1 light phase Rough-legged Hawk
1 Northern Harrier
1 Red-tailed Hawk


2 light morph Rough-legged Hawks were casually seen at Duke Farms this afternoon. Casually means the hawks were seen while driving by the Duke Farms property.

Yesterday’s Canvasback and Redheads were not found today.

Approximately 150 Horned Larks plus hundreds of American and Fish Crows, Ring-billed Gulls, Canada Geese, Rock Pigeons, European Starlings, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, et al continue in the manure spread on the fields along River Road south of South Branch Road, Hillsborough Twp.


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


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Canvasback and Redheads; Other Field Notes, Feb. 18, 2015

Canvasback and Redheads on the Raritan River

Canvasback and Redheads, Raritan River, Hillsborough, NJ, Feb. 18, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Canvasback and Redheads, Raritan River, Hillsborough, NJ, Feb. 18, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image)

Yesterday, 2 Redheads were found on the Raritan River near the bandshell at Duke Island Park (John J. Collins). The Redheads remained today and were joined by a female Canvasback, found by Frank Sencher, Jr. The ducks are viewable from either Duke Island Park or River Road in Hillsborough (with great caution). This section of water is one of the few easily accessible open stretches in the Raritan River in the immediate area.


Rough-legged Hawks

From Mike Newlon at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve:
2 Rough-legged Hawks, one dark; one light. They were too far for good photographs though, hence the attached Northern Harrier. Also 3 Northern Harriers and 3 Red-tailed Hawks.

Northern Harrier, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 18, 2015 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Northern Harrier, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 18, 2015 (photo by Mike Newlon)


Ducks along the Towpath

As reported by Bobby Skrabal via eBird , the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath had the following highlights: 20 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Lesser Scaup, 25 Bufflehead, 50 Common Goldeneye, 2 Hooded Mergansers, 15 Common Mergansers, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1 Pied-billed Grebe, Mallards and American Black Ducks.


Northern Flicker photo by Jason Denesevich, yesterday at Great Swamp NWR, where there hasn’t been much else lately.

Northern Flicker, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 17, 2015 (photo by Jason Denesevich)

Northern Flicker, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 17, 2015 (photo by Jason Denesevich)


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


Posted in Morris County, Somerset County | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Monday Bird Notes, Feb. 16, 2015

Rough-legged Hawks

Let’s face it. Without the bevy of Rough-legged Hawks recently, there isn’t much to write about the bird life in Morris and Somerset Counties. Snow, ice and frigid cold dominate the landscape. Bird feeders are the main source of bird reports.

A Rough-legged Hawk visited the Great Swamp NWR today in the vicinity of the Bluebird Lot on Pleasant Plains Road (Jim Gilbert, Chuck Hantis, et al). This represents the only legitimate report of the species in Morris County.

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 16, 2015 (Chris Duffek)

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 16, 2015 (Chris Duffek)

Somerset County has a virtual glut of sightings. Up to 5 Rough-legged Hawks are reported from Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve (Chris Duffek, Steven Kuitems).  3 were sighted at Duke Farms (Anna Mindel via eBird).  There is much suitable habitat in Hillsborough, Franklin and Montgomery Townships. Who knows how many Rough-legged Hawks are actually in the area this month.

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 16, 2015 (Chris Duffek)

Rough-legged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Feb. 16, 2015 (Chris Duffek)


Other Bird Notes

Pine Siskins continue to be fairly wide spread with reports today from Long Valley (Ken Hart), Brookside (Debbie Replogle), Lincoln Park area (Garry Annibal), yesterday from White Meadow Lake in Rockaway Twp. (Tom Justesen), etc., and several reports from Somerset County.


eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.


Finis


Posted in Morris County, Somerset County | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment