Sunday Bird Notes, Jan. 25, 2015

Pileated Woodpecker, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 25, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis).

Pileated Woodpecker, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 25, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis).

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)


Tom Gorman writes of the vulture roost along Green Pond Road, Rockaway Twp., NJ:
“During post sunrise and at sunset, the reported Turkey and Black Vulture counts were noted (9 and 46 respectively). These species have been local to the White Meadow Lake east side for approximately 2 years now.”

A photo of the roost can be seen here.


Open water is scarce in Morris County. Every puddle and pond is worth checking. A condominium pond in Roxbury had Redhead and Common Goldeneye drakes this morning along with Ring-necked Ducks, Ruddy Ducks and Hooded Mergansers.

Common Goldeneye, Roxbury Twp., NJ, Jan. 25, 2015 (photo  by Jonathan Klizas)

Common Goldeneye, Roxbury Twp., NJ, Jan. 25, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

This Mute Swan was on a resident’s driveway before scooting up the snow bank and into the pond.

Mute Swan, Roxbury Twp., NJ,  Jan. 25, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Mute Swan, Roxbury Twp., NJ, Jan. 25, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Birds viewed from the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath in Franklin Township this afternoon include: 397 Mallards, 32 Ring-necked Ducks, 1 Lesser Scaup, 51 Bufflehead, 67 Common Goldeneye, 3 Hooded and 21 Common Mergansers, and 3 Bald Eagles. Gulls were represented by 40 Ring-billed, 26 Herring and 7 Great Black-backed (Jeff Ellerbusch).


Banded Red-tailed Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 25, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Banded Red-tailed Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 25, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)


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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Snow Day Bird Notes: American Pipits, Long-tailed Ducks, Jan. 24, 2015

American Pipits, Florham Park, NJ, Jan. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

American Pipits, Florham Park, NJ, Jan. 24, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

11 American Pipits eked out a living on the edge of the driveway at Florham Park Fields this afternoon. For those readers familiar with this location, be aware that recently, numerous and obvious No Trespassing signs are posted throughout the property. The area is privately owned although these fields and ponds have served the public community for years in activities such as ATV-ing, dog-training, and, at an increasing rate, fishing along with functioning as an impromptu truck stop.


A pair of male and female Long-tailed Ducks were found at Furnace Pond, Netcong, today by Dave Emma. The pond is an easy bi-county twitch if you are so inclined (Morris and Sussex). See the location in the southwest corner of the Lake Musconetcong map.


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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Southwest Morris Winter Bird Count Results, Jan. 23, 2015

The 31st Southwest Morris Winter Bird Count was held on Sunday, January 18, 2015. Weather conditions are the main story as freezing rain fell in the morning creating slippery and treacherous conditions. Temperatures were forecast to reach 40 F degrees but never came close, hovering slightly above the freezing mark most of the day as rain continued.

Founded by Dave Harrison, the count is structured like a typical Audubon Christmas Bird Count with the circle centered around Chester. Primarily in Morris County, the count also reaches into neighboring Warren, Hunterdon and Sussex Counties as well. It should be noted that Dave wore the same light-blue crew neck sweater on the count for the 31st consecutive year.

Here is Dave Harrison’s summary of the day’s results:

Total species count was 78 – about the mean and median for the history of the count, but 4 species below the mean and median for the past 15 years. Positive results were outweighed by the negative (as expected) – here are highlights and lowlights:
Cackling Goose – 2nd time on count in the Hackettstown area
Northern Shoveler – 7th time on count
Merlin – 5th time on count
Red-headed Woodpecker – 5th time on count
Horned Lark – missed for only the 8th time
Common Raven – 8th time on count (almost all within the past 10 years)
Hermit Thrush – missed for only the 2nd time
Gray Catbird – missed for only the 10th time
Northern Mockingbird – only 7 birds; the previous low count was 10
Yellow-rumped Warbler – missed for only the 2nd time
Field Sparrow – missed for only the 3rd time
Red-winged Blackbird – missed for only the 4th time

– Dave Harrison

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Recent Bird Reports; a word about Owls, Jan. 20, 2015

A Plea for Owls

This is meant primarily for the eBird nation but applies to all individuals as well. Please refrain from listing especially sensitive species’ locations. This applies specifically to Long-eared and Northern Saw-whet Owls this time of year but is applicable to any species deemed to be of extraordinary sensitivity.

The best tact to take is to wait a few weeks or even a season before submitting the checklist to eBird. The eBird people at Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology published Guidelines for Reporting Sensitive Species. Please read it and abide by it. Be a conscientious birder, not just a lister.


The latest report of the Somerset Greater White-fronted Goose is January 16 at Duke Island Park (John J. Collins).

The 8 Franklin Township Sandhill Cranes continue at either Randolph Road or Mettlers Rd south of its intersection with Weston Road.

A few scant reports of Pine Siskins in Hillsborough Twp. and at Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary in Bernardsville during the past week are teasing but fail to substantiate a trend.

Reports from various parts of the state are promising, but Common Redpolls have yet to penetrate the mocosocoBirds region.


The Southwest Morris Winter Bird Count was held in rainy, cold, soggy, icy, slippery, dreary, foggy conditions on Sunday, January 20. A complete report is forthcoming.


A Merlin was on Pleasasnt Plains Road, Great Swamp NWR, Jan. 19.

Merlin, Great Swamp NWR, Jan. 19, 2015 (photo  by Jonathan Klizas)

Merlin, Great Swamp NWR, Jan. 19, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


A Purple Finch is reported in Bridgewater Twp. (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


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Somerset Geese Update, Jan. 16, 2015

Duke Island Park‘s Greater White-fronted Goose (GWFG) is being observed on the Raritan River where up to 3,000 Canada Geese are resting in the water or on the ice. John J. Collings posted a sighting to the JerseyBirds Listserv today. That post can be seen here.

The GWFG was also seen January 14 by George and Gail Eschenbach as it flew into the river.

A Cackling Goose or two is available for those wishing to comb through the many Canada Geese.


The most recent report of the Somerset County Barnacle Goose is from Sunday, January 11. It was seen and photographed on that date at 4:30 PM at the Somerset 4H property which is across the road from North Branch Park (Jason Denesevich).

Barnacle Goose, Bridgewater, NJ, Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jason Denesevich)

Barnacle Goose, Bridgewater, NJ, Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jason Denesevich)


25 Pine Siskins were reported from Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary today via eBird (Sam Galick). “(The) small flock landed in a black walnut tree next to the office. They did not go to the feeders.”


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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Waterfowl on the Raritan, Jan. 15, 2015

Raritan River, Franklin Township

Common Goldeneye, D&R Towpath, Franklin Twp., NJ, Jan. 15, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Common Goldeneye, D&R Towpath, Franklin Twp., NJ, Jan. 15, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Unlike most waterways to the north and west, the Raritan River in Franklin Township remains ice-free this winter. Always a winter haven for Common Goldeneye (and hundreds of Mallards), this stretch of river along the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath, accessed by the repaired footbridge at the end of Demott Lane, offers one of the best spots to view wintering waterfowl in Somerset County. In some years, it is the only location to view wintering waterfowl in Somerset. The river in this area forms the border between Somerset and Middlesex Counties.

Waterfowl concentrations tend to be anywhere from the footbridge to approximately .75 miles south along the towpath. 28 Common Goldeneye were counted this afternoon. The high count at this location is 116 on March 11, 2014 (Jeff Ellerbusch).

Three Merganser species may be found here. Buffleheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwall, Greater and Lesser Scaup, etc. can also be viewed on the river, although Scaup were absent today. on April 12, 2012, 327 Bonaparte’s Gulls were along varying parts of the river along the towpath (J. Ellerbusch). Viewing can be a challenge with trees and tangled vegetation. Do not bother trying to get close for a photo opportunity – the ducks are wary and will move away.

Passerines are in the trees and brush along the path. The swallow counts in spring are easily the highest in the county. It is a good place to dream of rarities as Raritan Bay is not that far down stream.

Brown Creeper, D&R Towpath, Franklin Twp., NJ, Jan. 15, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Brown Creeper, D&R Towpath, Franklin Twp., NJ, Jan. 15, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Other Field Notes

This afternoon, 8 Sandhill Cranes were in the corn field along Mettlers Road southeast of its intersection with Weston Road.

Although thousands of geese remain in the Bridgewater-Hillsborough-Branchburg area, the Barnacle Goose is missing in action this week.

The Greater White-fronted Goose was seen on the Raritan River at Duke Island Park, Jan. 14 (George and Gail Eschenbach).

 

Cackling Geese are found by combing through the large Canada Goose throngs at North Branch Park and Duke Island Park (roosting on the Raritan River).


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

Canvasback in Morris, Jan. 14, 2015

Lake Hopatcong

Waterfowl, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 14, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Waterfowl, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 14, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image)

There was barely any remaining open water at Lake Hopatcong on Sunday, January 14. There is even less today. A small section of water, kept open with the help of dock-protecting pumps at Lake Hopatcong Yacht club on Bertrand Island is all that is left of ice-free conditions at the lake. This is one of the last open sections of water, other than moving rivers, in Morris County.

Waterfowl is crammed into this relatively tiny pool: 2 Mute Swans (down from 120 on Sunday), 6 Gadwall, 4 American Wigeon, 8 Mallards, 180 Ring-necked Ducks, 3 Lesser Scaup, 4 Bufflehead, 1 Common Goldeneye hen, 4 Hooded Mergansers, 5 Ruddy Ducks and 15 American Coot were joined by a Canvasback drake.

Canvasback, et al, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 14, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Canvasback, et al, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 14, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Canvasback, et al, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 14, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Canvasback, et al, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 14, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Towards the end of daylight, Ring-billed and Herring Gulls appeared from the north heading south. Who knows where they are from and where they are going. One lone Ring-billed Gull remained on the ice.

Ring-billed Gull, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 14, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Ring-billed Gull, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 14, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


The Somerset County Barnacle Goose is not reported since January 10 at North Branch Park. The Greater White-fronted Goose was last reported two days ago. Both are probably in the area as there are still thousands of geese lingering in this section of 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


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Sunday Bird Notes, Jan. 11, 2015

Ice

By now, nearly every lake in the region is frozen. Most rivers are nearly frozen if not completely solid. There are some pockets of open water remaining – Lake Hopatcong north and west of Bertrand Island, for example, but not by much.

American Coot, Lake Hopatcong, NJ,  Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

American Coot, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The American Coot in the above photo are squeezed by the encroaching ice. Waterfowl may be anxious for the next migrational move as the ice spreads inexorably over one of the few remaining sections of open water at Lake Hopatcong.

Only two days ago, much of the water surface area north of Bertrand Island in the photo below was open. Almost all of it is frozen less than 48 hours later. In the distance, there are Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, Ruddy Ducks and Common Mergansers in a sliver of open water. Lake Hopatcong is entirely frozen other than the little sections of ice-free water nearby Bertand Island,.

Looking north from Bertrands Island, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Looking north from Bertrands Island, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

120 Mute Swans (the wintering Tundra Swans were not seen), 270 Canada Geese,  4 Gadwall, 3 American Wigeon, 30+ Mallards, 110 Ring-necked Ducks,  4 Buffleheads, 6 Hooded and 5 Common Mergansers, 38 Ruddy Ducks and 29 American Coot are huddled on the western shore or in any available ice-free water. A small portion is illustrated below. One lone Double-crested Cormorant was actively diving.

Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Two female Common Goldeneye were floating near the docks on Bertrand Island before flying off.

Common Goldeneye, Lake Hopatcong, NJ,  Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Common Goldeneye, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 11, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Other Field Notes

From Jim Schlickenrieder:
“This morning, Sunday, around 8:00 my group saw the Greater-White Fronted and the Cackling Goose over at Duke Island Park.

At North Branch Park, just before 9:00 we spotted the Barnacle Goose for just seconds before the goose flock took off without the target bird returning.

We did not see the Sandhill Cranes even with a good search of the surrounding areas.”


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, Jan. 10, 2015

Ring-billed Gull, Northern Pintail, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Jan. 10, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Ring-billed Gull, Northern Pintail, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Jan. 10, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The temperature never reached more than 20 F degrees today. It felt colder. Whatever water is still open may not be for long.

One eBird report of the Barnacle Goose at North Branch Park was listed today (Henry Burton). The comments read as follows: “Continuing bird. Found among well over a thousand Canada Geese in the creek at the west side of the park. It took me a while to pick him out of the hundreds of Canadas.”

The Greater White-fronted and Cackling Geese were reported by many observers today at Duke Island Park.

The 8 Sandhill Cranes of Franklin Twp., were present today on Randolph Road and witnessed by numerous observers.


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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Friday Bird Notes, Jan. 9, 2015

A Barnacle Goose continues at North Branch Park as of today (Joe Pescatore via eBird).

The Greater White-fronted Goose was at Duke Island Park (Alison Goessling via eBird) as well as a Cackling Goose and 1,000 Canada Geese.

At least 2 Tundra Swans along with 125+ Mute Swans are savoring what open water remains at Lake Hopatcong near Bertrands Island (J. Klizas).

8 Sandhill Cranes were back today at Randolph Road, Franklin Township (Alyssa Della Fave via eBird).  If not found on Randolph Road, the cranes are visiting the cornfields southeast of the intersection of nearby Mettlers and Weston Roads.


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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