The coming storm overwhelms any other news today. People are busy with tasks such as cleaning gutters, clearing sewer drains, buying food items, getting gasoline for generators, buying ice that will melt into puddles in the refrigerator when the power does go out, as well as reading various Nixle reports that Jersey Central Power and Light said all customers should prepare for power outages lasting 7-10 days AFTER the storm. In an attempt to maintain normalcy and to see what the prelude to the storm might bring our way, birders did get into the field today. In the Morris and Somerset region, Chimney Rock’s 3 Evening Grosbeaks and 4th Golden Eagle of the season, an adult, were certainly the highlights of the day.
Duckage was thick at Melanie Lane Wetlands, where 70 Gadwall, 6 Northern Pintail (Morris County’s 1st of the season), 20 Green-winged Teal, and 4 Ruddy Duck joined the many Canada Geese, Mallards and American Black Ducks in attendance. American Wigeon, Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal and Fox, White-throated, White-crowned, Song and Swamp Sparrows were at the southern end of Troy Meadows.
Lake Parsippany had only 1 Bufflehead with 15 Ruddy Ducks and a Pied-billed Grebe. Jamie Glydon found a Tennessee Warbler (TEWA) at Bee Meadow Park. Despite much effort and prodding by Jamie, the TEWA defied morphing into an Orange-crowned Warbler.
Meteorologists and weather-news people are saying that Sandy, The Storm of 2012, will be unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. Many of us are still smarting from the two weather bombshells of 2011, tropical storm Irene and the October 29 snowstorm (the irony of that latter date is not lost on anyone) so, I am not sure there is an appreciation of any more meteorological drama. Roadway passage and sanity permitting, there will be those who venture into the storm and its aftermath to see what unique avian species the storm may bring our way. Mocosocobirds will report any findings in our area albeit the posts will emanate from an iPhone 5 once the power goes out.
Good birding and be safe!