From Ken Hart:
I’ve been experimenting this last week and a half with early a.m. birding just outside my house on Black River Road in Long Valley, 1-1/2 miles upstream from the town of Pottersville. I’ve yet to stray more than 10 yards from my house, but have seen a surprising array of migrants, some high in the oaks, many low in the rhododendrons.
Black-Throated Green Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler (this afternoon)
Black-Throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker (imm.)
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (imm. male)
Eastern Wood Pewee
Most of the above have been showing up each morning, with daily, consistent Red-Eyed Vireos, Black-Throated Green Warblers, and Ruby-Crowned Kinglets being the most reliable.
Add to these, over this past ten or so days:
Chipping Sparrow (9/27)
Eastern Phoebe (9/18, 27)
Black & White Warbler (9/20, 21)
Common Yellowthroat ((9/19, 20, 21)
Cooper’s Hawk (9/21)
Sharp-Shinned Hawk (9/21)
House Wren (9/20)
Magnolia Warbler (9/19)
Purple Finch (9/18, 19)
Baltimore Oriole (9/9)
a possible Canada Warbler on 9/26,
and two black bears on 9/26, 30 feet away (and sticking around for awhile) which quickly ended the morning’s bird count.
I don’t think of this area being any sort of migrant trap– it’s low between two ridges, very close to the Black River. Yet I’m surprised to have found such good birding in a publicly under-birded spot, without having to even change out of my slippers!
A late afternoon walk by this writer into Troy Meadows in Parsippany via Troy Meadows Rd. yielded a surprising pocket of warblers:
Common Yellowthroat – 3
Northern Parula – 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler – 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 2
Black-throatd Green Warbler -1
Wilson’s Warbler – adult male.
Also, there was the largest flock of Purple Finches, 20, reported this season in either Morris or Somerset Counties – one male and 19 female types. 4 American Kestrels, 1 male and 3 females were roosting on snags on the marsh.
After researching eBird records, it turns out the White-crowned Sparrow found by Jeff Ellerbusch at Duke Farms in Hillsborough Township this morning is the earliest fall date and only September record in eBird for either Somerset or Morris Counties – ever - and only the third record in the entire state this season. Every season and every year is unique in birding. This one is definitely slanted towards early arrivals.