Grasshopper Sparrow; field notes, Apr. 22, 2014

From Susan Treesh:
“Had my First-of-year House Wrens today, both behind my house and at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve. I also heard Grasshopper Sparrow at Negri-Nepote between Hannah Pond and the tenant driveway. I know it’s early, but I heard the song repeatedly, and I am very familiar with the song. I never laid eyes on the bird though. Also one Wilson’s Snipe there.”

Editor’s note: It is the first record of Grasshopper Sparrow this spring in New Jersey according to eBird data. In 2013 at Negri-Nepote, Grasshopper Sparrow was first detected on April 19.

The Little Blue Heron of Loantaka Brook Reservation (day no. 11) and the Yellow-throated Warbler of Colonial Park (day no. 9) continue in their respective locations (m.obs).

2 Bonaparte’s Gulls were seen at Budd Lake (Marianne Ofenloch).

25 Broad-winged Hawks passed the Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch today (Fred Vanderburgh).

Finderne Wetlands had 2 Greater Yellowlegs and a Great Egret (Jeff Ellerbusch).

Other arrivals from April 21 include Ruby-throated Hummingbird in Chatham Twp. (Simon Lane) and Wood Thrush in Long Valley (Dan Fuller).

The two Glossy Ibis found on Apr. 20 were not seen this afternoon at Melanie Lane Wetlands. In fact no herons or egrets were there either. Killdeer, Wilson’s Snipe and a Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs joined the Green-winged Teal and other avifauna (J. Klizas).

The Glossy Ibis photos below are by Chuck Hantis at Melanie Lane yesterday, Apr. 21:

Glossy Ibis, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 21, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Glossy Ibis, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 21, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Glossy Ibis, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 21, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Glossy Ibis, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 21, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

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Prothonotary Warbler; Field Notes, Apr. 21, 2014

From John J. Collins:
“I went to Loantaka Brook Reservation this morning and saw the Little Blue Heron (it was perched low in a tree preening itself). There were also two Blue-winged Teal (male and female) present on the pond. Then I went to Lord Stirling Park and walked the fisherman’s trail to the observation tower where I observed a stunning Prothonotary Warbler!”

[Editor's note: The Little Blue Heron is at Loantaka for 10 days; the Blue-winged Teal for 2+ weeks. Yesterday, Apr. 20, Tom Justesen reports a Red-headed Woodpecker near the fenced-in pond at Loantaka].


4 Bonaparte’s Gulls were seen at Budd Lake early this afternoon (Alan Boyd). Photos are at Alan’s Flickr site.


The Yellow-throated Warbler is at Colonial Park for the 8th day (Zach Batren).

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Sandhill Crane and Virginia Rail at Great Swamp NWR, Apr. 20, 2014

There are two additions to the earlier, complete post for today, which is here.

A Sandhill Crane was seen at the Great Swamp NWR this morning. The following comments are from Karen English’s eBird report: “Circled slowly over the WOC Parking lot. Appeared to loop back and go down off the Friends’ Blind”

A Virginia Rail’s descending grunt was heard in the distance from the Garden Club Blind at the Great Swamp Wildlife Observation center at 5:00 p.m. today (Chris Thomas). This represents the first Virginia Rail of 2014 in either Morris or Somerset counties.

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Cliff Swallow, Glossy Ibis, other field notes, Apr. 20, 2014

One Cliff Swallow was seen this morning near the Rt. 202 bridge at Boonton Reservoir, the only known nesting location of this species in Morris County. If they nest again it will mark the third year in a row at the reservoir.

The island in Boonton Reservoir is loaded with Double-crested Cormorants (DCCO) involved with nesting activities. 150+ DCCOs are regularly counted, and that is usually viewing from the southern end of the island only. Great Blue Herons are also making a stand with 20-25 individuals in attendance, at least. 6 Great Egrets were in the woods at the base of the island this morning and are regularly seen, but appear to be roosting only (J. Klizas).

Cliff Swallow, Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Apr. 20, 2014 (ID record photo by J. Klizas)

Cliff Swallow, Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Apr. 20, 2014 (ID record photo by J. Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Earlier in the morning, 2 Bonaparte’s Gulls were seen flying out of Boonton Reservoir (Simon Lane).

2 Glossy Ibis were seen at Melanie Lane Wetlands this morning in what has turned into a record spring for this species in Morris County this spring. It marks the 4th record in Morris, which is modest in general of course, but remarkable for north central New Jersey. 3 Great Egrets and the usual Wilson’s Snipe, Green-winged Teal, etc. were also in attendance (J. Klizas).

Glossy Ibis, Hanover, NJ, Apr. 20, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

Glossy Ibis, Hanover, NJ, Apr. 20, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

The adult Little Blue Heron of Kitchell Pond, Loantaka Brook Reservation continues for the 9th day (m.obs.).

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis).

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis).

From Ken Hart:
“Continuing Yellow-throated Warbler at Parking Lot A, Colonial Park, this morning.
Purple Martins and Barn Swallows are present at the Robert J Stahl Natural Area in Bedminster.” [Editor:A PDF of the park map can be seen at this link.]

Yellow-throated Warbler, Colonial Park, Franklin Township, NJ
(Yellow-throated Warbler, Franklin Twp., NJ, April 19, 2014 – photo by Tom Ostrand).

From Margo D. Beller:
“A day after telling you we had seen the Yellow-Throated Warbler at Colonial Park, today (Saturday) we went back and found, thanks to instructions from another birder, one of the Red-Headed Woodpeckers from the nature trail. Later, almost at the car, something familiar flew over and went to the waterside on the other side of the road from the parking lot. It was a Green Heron, my first of the year. We then went to Griggstown Grasslands where the most notable thing we saw was two Turkey Vultures mating in the field. No quick hits for this couple. Otherwise, it was mainly quiet.”

Red-headed Woodpecker, Colonial Park, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (Photo by Tom Ostrand)

Red-headed Woodpecker, Colonial Park, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (Photo by Tom Ostrand)

From David Bernstein at Green Brook Park:
“There are now four Black-crowned Night-Herons and two Green Herons here (Green Brook Park). Not bad for North Plainfield.”

Kevin Browne saw 5 Red-headed Woodpeckers yesterday, Apr. 19, in the Great Swamp/Lord Stirling Park area while kayaking along the mocosoco divide, aka the Passaic River. One of the RHWO was exploring tree cavities.

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Saturday Field Notes, Apr. 19, 2014

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The Little Blue Heron of Kitchell Pond at Loantaka Brook Reservation spent its 8th day in Morris Township oblivious to the many people, horses and pets enjoying this lovely park on a beautiful day.

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

The pair of Blue-winged Teal who are at Loantaka for weeks were in the main pond today.

Blue-winged Teal, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

Blue-winged Teal, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

The Yellow-throated Warbler continues to reside at Colonial Park, viewed by several observers today.

2 White-eyed Vireos at Jacques Lane, Six Mile Run, Franklin Township, signal the first Vireos in Morris and Somerset Counties in 2014 (David Bernstein).

A alternate plumaged Bonaparte’s Gull was found at Budd Lake today by Alan Boyd. Here is Alan’s description from his eBird report: “Breeding plumage. Black head and bill, red legs, pointed wings. Buzzing some cormorants that were feeding in the water. Probably trying to snatch some food.”

1 Greater Yellowlegs is the only shorebird reported from Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve (m.obs.). 1 Greater and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs were seen today at Duke Farms (eBirded by John J. Collins).

From Walter Blenderman at Green Brook Park, North Plainfield:
“I was just down at West End Pond again, first time in the morning for a while. There were three Black-crowned Night-Herons (BCNH), two in branches ~8-10 feet off the water on opposite sides in the far back, and one in the front. It was in the water with a 4-5 inch fish it had caught, then flew up into a nearby tree and swallowed the fish. Right next to that BCNH in the water was the first Green Heron I’ve seen this year. It flew across to the left side, then perched in a flowering tree on the bank. They were regulars there last summer. This was between 9-9:30 a.m.”

Nesting

Tree Swallow, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

Tree Swallow, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

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Yellow-throated Warbler, Glossy Ibis, April 18, 2014

Yellow-throated Warbler, Franklin Twp., NJ, Apr. 16, 2014 (photo by Bill Dix).

Yellow-throated Warbler, Franklin Twp., NJ, Apr. 16, 2014 (photo by Bill Dix).

(Click on the photo for a larger image).

The Yellow-throated Warbler of Colonial Park continues to be viewed by many observers. The general location is either near Parking Lots A, B or somewhere in between.  A PDF of the park map can be seen at this linkYou can view Bill’s other photos at the following link: Bill Dix’s photos on Picasa.

A Glossy Ibis was seen at the Denville Fields (Tim Vogel), which is labeled as McCarter Park on Google maps. This is the fourth separate Glossy Ibis report for Morris County this spring.

The Little Blue Heron and 2 Blue-winged Teal remain at Loantaka Brook Reservation (m. obs.).

An American Bittern was spotted at the Friends Blind of the Great Swamp NWR Wildlife Observation Center. The Great Swamp also had Blue-winged Teal, 2 Northern Shovelers, 8 Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Purple Martins, etc. (Simon Lane).

63 Ruddy Ducks and 22 Buffleheads are at Mt. Hope Lake (J. Klizas).

Below is a photo of one of the Black-crowned Night-Herons frequenting Green Brook Park area in North Plainfield.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
(Photo by Jeff Ellerbusch).

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Little Blue Heron, Yellow-throated Warbler, Apr. 17, 2014

 Same birds, different day.

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 17, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 17, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

(Click on the photo to view a larger image.)

Migration into the Morris and Somerset area has stalled this week. Amazingly, the two local celebrities have stayed put through this period with many observers able to see them:

  1. The adult Little Blue Heron which arrived Saturday, April 12 and continues to inhabit Kitchell Pond at Loantaka Brook Reservation - the most photographed Little Blue Heron in Morris County history.
  2. The Yellow-throated Warbler, found Monday, April 14 and moving between Parking Lots A and B at Colonial Park, Franklin Township as of today. A PDF of the park map can be seen at this link.

Two Blue-winged Teal continue at Loantaka Brook Reservation (m. obs.).

Troy Meadows had 2 Great Egrets, Red-headed Woodpecker, Peregrine Falcon along with Pine, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers (eBirded by Julie Buechner).

2 Black-crowned Night-Herons continue at or near Green Brook Park in North Plainfield (Jeff Elerbusch).

1 Lesser Black-backed and 1 Herring Gull were with the 170+ Ring-billed Gulls following a tractor plowing a field on Opie Road (J. Klizas).

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Yellow-throated Warbler; Field Notes, Apr. 16, 2014

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” – Gary Snyder

Yellow-throated Warbler in Franklin Township

Yellow-throated Warbler

(Yellow-throated Warbler, Colonial Park, Franklin Twp., NJ – photo by Chris Thomas)

A Yellow-throated Warbler is at Colonial Park, Franklin Township for the third known day. Found on April 14 by Brian Clough and Amy Manning near the Rose Garden Parking Lot (marked as Parking Lot A on the park map), it has crossed Mettler’s Road and was found today near Parking Lot B (Chris Thomas). A PDF of the park map can be seen at this link.

From John J. Collins:
I too found the Yellow-throated Warbler this afternoon at Colonial Park in the south-west corner of parking lot “B.” Other birds present were many Tree and Northern Rough-winged Swallows, my first Barn Swallow of the season, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, dozens of Yellow-rumped Warblers and my first Chimney Swift of the season. There was also a female Northern Pintail on the lake.

Elsewhere at Colonial Park, Chris Duffek found the following:

Great Horned Owl, Franklin Twp., NJ, Apr. 16, 2014 (photo by Chris Duffek).

Great Horned Owl, Franklin Twp., NJ, Apr. 16, 2014 (photo by Chris Duffek).


Other Field Notes

From Matt Ariani:
“The Little Blue Heron remains in the pond behind the fence at Loantaka Brook Reservation, despite the efforts of a Canada Goose attempting to evict it.”


Budd Lake: 15 Bufflehead, 7 Common Mergansers, 6 Common Loons, 2 Horned Grebes, 13 Double-crested Cormorants, 5 Northern Rough-winged Swallows, 2 Purple Martins, 5 Tree Swallows.

Lake Musconetcong: 4 Common Mergansers, 1 Pied-billed Grebe, 1 Horned Grebe, 1 Osprey, 2 Bald Eagles and the 1st Spotted Sandpiper reported in Morris County for 2014 (both lake reports eBirded by Alan Boyd).


2 Black-crowned Night-Herons (1 yellow-legged; 1 pink-legged) are on the island at Jefferson Road Pond this afternoon. At least one has been at this location since March 31 with a high count of six on April 7 (J. Klizas).

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Tuesday Field Notes, Apr. 15, 2014

Yellow-throated Warbler in Franklin Township

The Yellow-throated Warbler discovered yesterday (see this post) continues as of this morning near the Rose Garden parking lot of Colonial Park, Franklin Township. The garden driveway is on the west side of Metlar’s Road slightly south of the main entrance for Colonial Park. This Setophaga warbler was singing continuously at 6:20 this morning for the entire thirty minutes this observer was present.


 Gulls in Hillsborough Twp.

4 Bonaparte’s, 21 Ring-billed, 4 Herring and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull(s) were at River Road, Hillsborough near the Norz Farm (Jeff Ellerbusch). This is a productive gull site in 2014 which has produced 7 species of gulls so far: Bonaparte’s, Laughing, Ring-billed, Herring, Iceland, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed. Add the Glaucous Gull seen in January along Homestead Road and Hillsborough has an impressive gull list for an inland site without any sizable bodies of water.

At Opie Road, Branchburg Twp.: 7 Pectoral Sandpipers, 1 Lesser and 3 Greater Yellowlegs (J. Ellerbusch). They were absent by the afternoon – Editor.


Little Blue Heron at Loantaka Brook Reservation

From Liz Mershon:
“The Little Blue Heron was located once again Tuesday 4/15) at Loantaka – Kitchell Pond. It was at the pond behind the fence.”


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Yellow-throated Warbler, and more, Apr. 14, 2014

Yellow-throated Warbler in Franklin Township

ytwa

(Yellow-throated Warbler, Colonial Park, Apr. 14, 2014 – photo by Jeff Ellerbusch).

From Brian Clough:
Amy Manning and I had a singing Yellow-throated Warbler at Colonial Park this afternoon. It was hanging out in the Norway Spruces adjacent to the Rose Garden parking lot off Metlar’s Rd.

[Editor's note: In the early evening, Jeff Ellerbusch was able to relocate the Yellow-throated Warbler in the same location. See the above photograph. This is an excellent record for Somerset County.]

Earlier in the day at Colonial Park, Zach Batren and Holly Ellerbusch found the first Yellow Warbler of 2014 in either Somerset or Morris Counties.

Little Blue Heron(s?) at Loantaka Brook Reservation

Hank Burk, Mike Ostrow, myself and others saw the continuing adult Little Blue Heron at Loantaka Brook Reservation at different times during the day.

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 14, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 14, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Leslie Webster gives a full report with an added twist:
“News from Loantaka Brook Reservation: Blue-gray Gnatcatchers have moved into the woods and at Kitchell Pond. Palm, Pine, and Yellow-rumped Warblers are still abundant, as are Ruby-crowned Kinglets. A Chipping Sparrow was heard singing at the Loantaka Way parking lot. At the pond, two Little Blue Herons were observed, as was the male Blue-winged Teal.”

Mike Ostrow reports the following:
“I saw Leslie Webster’s eBird report about 2 Little Blue Herons this morning. At first I saw only one. Then later I saw two small herons flying together over the reeds (looking into sun so I couldn’t get much detail, but they looked similar.), and assumed it was 2 Little Blues. However, 10 min later there were two herons in the tree together, and one of them was clearly a Green Heron. So I’m not sure if the flying ones were both blues or not. But I imagine it’s worth keeping an eye out for a second one though. Great little spot!”

From Jennifer Books, Sun., Apr. 13:
The Little Blue Heron was still at Loantaka this afternoon (Sunday, Apr. 13). I along with David Bernstein spotted it in the water behind the baseball field. It was feeding and then flew up to a perch in the nearby willow tree. A beautiful bird I might add!
There is also a lone Pied-billed Grebe at Osborne Pond. And, my sister and I spotted several interesting birds while kayaking the Passaic River upriver from the Fisherman’s Parking Lot. They included our first Little Green Heron of the year, 2 Blue-Winged Teal, 2 Great Blue Herons, a Canada Goose nesting on the top of a root ball from a fallen tree, and several Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers as well as Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.

Birds at Melanie Lane Wetlands, Hanover Township

Glossy Ibis, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 13, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Glossy Ibis, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 13, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Yesterday, April 13, Chuck Hantis found a Glossy Ibis at Melanie Lane Wetlands. This is the 3rd known record for Glossy Ibis in Morris County this spring which is remarkable (all are photographed).

Osprey, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 13, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Osprey, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 13, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Today at Melanie Lane Wetlands, this observer saw 2 Green Herons, 1 Great Egret, a Solitary Sandpiper (the first in the mocosocoBirds region for 2014), 4 Gadwall, 2 Northern Shovelers, 35 Green-winged Teal, 18 Wilson’s Snipe and a Rusty Blackbird (J. Klizas).

Green Heron, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 14, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

Green Heron, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 14, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

Total Lunar Eclipse tonight

Unfortunately, the weather forecast calls for cloud cover.

Here are the times for the different phases of the eclipse in Eastern Daylight Savings Time:
Eastern Daylight Time (April 15, 2014)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 1:58 a.m. EDT on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 3:07 a.m. EDT
Greatest eclipse: 3:46 a.m. EDT
Total eclipse ends: 4:25 a.m. EDT
Partial eclipse ends: 5:33 a.m. EDT

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