Waterfowl in Somerset Co.; Rough-legged Hawk in Morris Co., Jan 31, 2013

Jeff Ellerbusch birded the D&R Towpath in Franklin Township this windy afternoon. The number of Bufflehead more than doubles any other known record in Somerset County (eBird has a high count of 29 in its database). The total for Common Goldeneye is also one of the highest for the county.

Ring-necked Duck – 32
Lesser Scaup – 13
Bufflehead – 73
Common Goldeneye – 27
Common Merganser – 24

Jeff also viewed an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull with the multitude of Ring-billed, Herring Gulls and Canada Geese at North Branch Park in Bridgewater Township earlier today.
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As Mike Newlon reported earlier in a comment to a previous post, and as many other people also observed, the Ross’s Goose spent most of today at the equestrian fields on Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge. One lone Horned Lark was also viewed in the field with the Canada Geese.
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The light morph Rough-legged Hawk was seen on Pleasant Plains Road, Great Swamp NWR this afternoon. It was wind-blown as it perched on a tree on the west side of the road near the management area driveway.

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