Wildcat Ridge, Rockaway Twp. (89 Raptors), Apr. 13, 2014

Wildcat Ridge
Hibernia, New Jersey, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Apr 13, 2014

Species Day Month Season
Black Vulture 0 0 0
Turkey Vulture 0 0 0
Osprey 2 14 14
Bald Eagle 0 10 10
Northern Harrier 1 5 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk 7 19 24
Cooper’s Hawk 3 5 6
Northern Goshawk 0 0 0
Red-shouldered Hawk 0 3 4
Broad-winged Hawk 73 92 92
Red-tailed Hawk 0 20 23
Golden Eagle 0 0 0
American Kestrel 2 17 17
Merlin 1 1 1
Peregrine Falcon 0 1 1
Unknown Raptor 0 0 0
Total: 89 187 197

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 15:00:00
Total observation time: 7 hours

Official Counter: Tom Gorman
Observers:

Visitors:
(30) visitors and also Ted who was a great assistance in finding many of
today’s migrants and easily identifying same. Ted is a regular at the
Chimney Hawk watch and I personally with to thank him for his help today.

Weather:
Day began with 100% high cloud cover w/light rain at 0815 and 0930 yielding
to loose cloud cover with haze beyond 2 miles. Temperature range 52-74F
with winds 5 gusting to 25 mph. No complete sunlight until after hawk watch
was closed.

Raptor Observations:
The majority of the raptors were only a couple thousand feet above the hawk
watch and about 2 dozen were higher.
All birds followed nearly the same section of sky just to the left and
overhead at the watch.

The local TV’s and BV’s and Red-tailed hawk were generally just above the
treetops and the Red-tail soared throughout the valley with naked eye
details.

All Broad-winged hawk generally were in groups of 3-5 individuals, however
Ted located a mini kettle of 12 high and slightly left of the hawk watch.
Most of the Broad-winged which flew over, gave great naked eye views of
their patterns and terminal bands.

There was as an FYI, @ 1457 hours a single adult Bald Eagle which came in
from the NW over Marcella and went down into the valley over Jonathan’s
Woods,soared the base of Bald Hill and went over St. Clares Hospital and
never returned to the sky. It is possible that this was one of those
either resident in Denville or possible the Troy Meadows….not officially
counted.

Non-raptor Observations:
Negative song birds but repeat visits from the Northern Flicker, the pair
of Raven flying off the left side of the watch and in flight further out
were Common Mergansers and Cormorants.

Two birds flying together, believed to be a shorebird (not Gulls), slowly
soared over the valley from Morris Plains and went overhead…..no clue as
to what they were.

Predictions:
Weather said to be partly cloudy with temps nearing 80F.
========================================================================
Report submitted by ()
Wildcat Ridge – New Jersey information may be found at:
http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/wldcthwk.htm

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Little Blue Heron, Vesper Sparrow, Migrants, Apr. 13, 2014

Little Blue Heron at Loantaka Brook Reservation

Little Blue Heron
(Photo by Chris Thomas)

While searching the fenced-in pond at Loantaka Brook Reservation early this morning for shorebirds (there are none), an adult Little Blue Heron flew into the pond in close proximity to the continuing male and female Blue-winged Teal. Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Pine, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers were in the trees near the pond. Little Blue Heron is a rare visitor to Morris County with one or two sightings per year, if at all (J. Klizas).


Vesper Sparrow at Glenhurst Meadows

This morning, a Vesper Sparrow was at Wagner Arboretum (west side of Glenhurst Meadows) where the old barn used to be. Also, 3 Blue-winged Teal and 18 Green-winged Teal, 4 Broad-winged Hawks, 4 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 4 American Kestrels, 1 Merlin, 9 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 25 Palm, 2 Pine and 20 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 6 Field and 6 Savannah Sparrows (Jeff Ellerbusch).


 Bald Eagle in Hanover Twp.

Bald Eagle, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis).

Bald Eagle, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis).

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

From Chuck Hantis, Apr. 12, 2014 at Melanie Lane Wetlands:
“I counted 7 Great Egrets, 2 Great Blue Herons, a pair of Northern Shovelers , then a bunch of Green-winged Teal exploded off the water. Like magic, the Eagle showed up.”

Bald Eagle, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis).

Bald Eagle, Hanover Twp., NJ, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis).


 Broad-winged Hawks

The spring Broad-winged Hawk season in Morris County began yesterday, Apr. 12, with 19 tallied at the Wildcat Ridge hawk watch in Rockaway Township.


Other Field Notes

Purple Martins are back at the Verizon Pond off of South Maple Avenue, Basking Ridge (J. Ellerbusch).

3 Pectoral Sandpipers continue at Opie Road, Branchburg Twp. (David Bernstein).


Photos

Bittern
American Bittern at Great Swamp NWR, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by Tom Smith).

Hermit Thrush, Rockaway Twp. NJ, Apr. 13, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

Hermit Thrush, Rockaway Twp. NJ, Apr. 13, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

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Laughing Gull, American Bittern, etc., Apr. 12, 2014

Horned Grebe, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

Horned Grebe, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Laughing Gull in Hillsborough Township

A Laughing Gull (LAGU) was at the Norz farm area of River Road this morning with 40 Ring-billed Gulls (Jeff Ellerbusch). LAGU is a rare species in the mocosocoBirds area, more so in Morris than Somerset.

3 Pectoral Sandpipers joined the 7 Blue-winged Teal at Opie Road, Branchburg Twp. (Andrew Lucas). These represent the first Pectoral Sandpipers of the season in the mocosocoBirds region.


American Bittern at Great Swamp NWR

The area’s first American Bittern for 2014 was at the near blind at the Wildlife Observation center of the Great Swamp NWR as eBirded by Tom Smith.


 West Morris Lakes

One of four Bonaparte's Gulls at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

One of four Bonaparte’s Gulls at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Apr. 12, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

4 Bonaparte’s Gulls were at Van Every Cove at Lake Hopatcong this morning. The speed boats are motoring up and fishermen are numerous at this boat-happy body of water. Nevertheless, there are still water birds to find. 134 Bufflehead are scattered about New Jersey’s largest lake, the most located at one place in 2014 in Morris and Somerset counties – also, 2 Lesser Scaup, 9 Common and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Common Loons, 1 Pied-billed Grebe and 8 Horned Grebes, most in nearly complete alternate plumage.

Lake Musconetcong has 3 Horned Grebes, 16 Buffleheads, Purple Martins, Double-created Cormorants, Mute Swans and fishing boats.

Budd Lake has 55 Bufflehead, 28 Common Mergansers, 7 Red-breasted Merganser females, 8 Ruddy Ducks and 4 Horned Grebes. Horned Grebes are ubiquitous on the large lakes at the current time (J. Klizas).


General notes: Ruby-crowned Kinglets are reported from various sources today. Barn Swallows are more evident. Palm and Pine Warbler numbers are growing. Brown Thrashers and Chipping Sparrows are moving into the region.

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Friday Field Notes, Apr. 11, 2014

Sandhill Crane in Hillsborough Twp.

Sandhill Crane, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Apr. 11, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Sandhill Crane, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Apr. 11, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

A family from Hillsborough Township found an unusual visitor on Wednesday in the cornfield adjacent to their yard. Not sure what it was or what it was doing there, the family accurately determined it was a Sandhill Crane. The crane was still in the field this morning and the family was concerned that the bird was injured since they had not observed it fly. A call made to Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary in Bernardsville made its way to this writer, who happened to be in Hillsborough. An afternoon visit to the location ensued to determine if, in fact, the Crane was infirm or not. The bird was easily found in the cornfield. An attempt was made to slowly creep up on the bird to see how it would react. It reacted as it should and in a moment took off in flight in apparent good health. Is this one of the Franklin Township Sandhill Cranes who spent their seventh winter in the area recently?

Sandhill Crane, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Apr. 11, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Sandhill Crane, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Apr. 11, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).


 

From Alan Boyd:
Purple Martins have returned to one of the houses on the Port Morris side of Lake Musconetcong. The Red-throated Loon continues on the lake along with 2 Bonaparte’s Gulls, 3 Horned Grebes and a few scattered Buffleheads.

Budd Lake had a group of 7 Red-breasted Mergansers along with a few Common Mergansers and 6 Horned Grebes.


Three Black-crowned Night-Herons were seen at Jefferson Road Pond this afternoon with a growing amount of whitewash on the rocks of the island (Chris Thomas).

From Walter Blenderman:
Two Black-crowned Night-Herons at the West End Pond of Green Brook Park, North Plainfield; one up at the front, one way in the back, both in the water, playing easy to see today.


Boonton Reservoir had 6 Common Loons, 1 Horned Grebe, 2 Buffleheads and 6 Common Mergansers. The island and surrounding waters held at least 192 Double-crested Cormorants (do you think one could be a Neotropic? Too far to tell). 27 Great Blue Herons and, interestingly, 2 Great Egrets were also on on the island.

It is trout and boating season. Lake Parsippany’s waterfowl numbers are scant: 1 Northern Shoveler, a few Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, 16 Ruddy Ducks, a Horned Grebe in alternate plumage and the three American Coot (J. Klizas).


From Leslie Webster:

News from Loantaka Brook Reservation: warmer air has brought Palm Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and Hermit Thrushes into the reservations. These species were observed in the woods and at Kitchell Pond. Every Spring, at least one Osprey pays a brief visit to the pond. Today an Osprey was tearing apart a fish in the tall dead tree to the west of the ponds. A fellow birder pointed out a pair of Blue-winged Teal in the back pond, a rather uncommon species here. In the woods, a male and female Pileated Woodpecker were finding goodies in a fallen, decaying log.

Blue-winged Teal, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 11, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

Blue-winged Teal, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 11, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas).

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Yellowlegs, Apr. 9, 2014

Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Lincoln Park, NJ, Apr. 9 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Lincoln Park, NJ, Apr. 9 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image).

Greater Yellowlegs have been in the mocosocoBirds area in very small numbers for a few weeks. Lesser Yellowlegs (LEYE) arrived today with an eBird report of two LEYE from the Raritan River Walkway (John J. Collins) and a single LEYE from Lincoln Park (Jill Homcy, J. Klizas). Also at Lincoln Park, actually the northern edge of the section of Great Piece Meadows in Morris County, were the first Barn Swallows reported in Morris for 2014. Palm and Pine Warblers were present with numerous Wood Ducks, Green-winged Teal and Ring-necked Ducks in the flooded woods.

The flooded Lincoln Park Gravel Pits were quiet in the afternoon. An Osprey, Hermit Thrush and 7 Northern Shovelers were the highlight (J. Klizas).

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Tuesday Field Notes, Apr. 8, 2014

Red-throated Loon and Horned Grebe continue with the diminishing number of waterfowl at Lake Musconetcong (Alan Boyd).

Budd Lake has 9 Horned Grebes, 3 Common Loons, 45 Common and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers (Alan Boyd).

4 Black-crowned Night-Herons continue at Jefferson Road Pond (Julie Buechner).

Morris County’s first Louisiana Waterththrush of 2014 was singing this morning along the Lamington River on Black River Road, Washington Township (J. Klizas).

6 Greater Yellowlegs were at Duke Farms along with Pine, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers (Jeff Ellerbusch).


From Tim Vogel:
Cedar Lake, Denville had 1 Common Raven.

Florham Park Fields had 2 Redheads, 12 Ring-necked Ducks, 4 Buffleheads, 1 Ruddy Duck.

Tim Vogel, Denville.


Rusty Blackbird, Florham Park, NJ, Apr. 8, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Rusty Blackbird, Florham Park, NJ, Apr. 8, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

The avian dynamic changes later in the day at Florham Park Fields. When this observer was there at 5 p.m. all of the ducks were gone because of human disturbance. Fishermen have been using the ponds with more regularity the past few years. 10 Rusty Blackbirds were in the woods at the edge of the field along with Red-winged Blackbirds and American Robins. 52 Wilson’s Snipe were flushed in the wet field. At least 6 Killdeer were present.

Boonton Reservoir had 4 Bufflehead, 1 Red-breasted Merganser drake and 3 Common Loons. 172 Double-crested Cormorants and 26 Great Blue Herons were counted on the island from the south end of the reservoir (J. Klizas).

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Sandhill Cranes at Great Swamp, and more, Apr. 7, 2014

Jim Gilbert reports that 3 Sandhill Cranes flew west past the overlook on Pleasant Plains Road, Great Swamp NWR at 11:00 a.m. Also, there was an influx of Palm Warblers, Eastern Towhees, Brown Thrashers, Field and Swamp Sparrows, etc. plus one hovering Osprey and one Purple Martin.

6 Black-crowned Night-Herons were counted on the island at Jefferson Road Pond, Parsippany by Matthew Skalla.

2 Black-crowned Night-Herons were at Green Brook Park, North Plainfield (Walter Blenderman).

Jim Mulvey found the first Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in the mocosocoBirds region for 2014 today at Passaic River County Park, River Road, Chatham Township.

A Greater Yellowlegs, either the same individual or another, has been present at the private, fenced-in pond at Loantaka Brook Reservation since April 3. Shorebirds should be arriving soon, but the Loantaka Yellowlegs is the only one on the radar in Morris County at the present time.


From Tim Vogel:
Split Rock Reservoir – The dam is closed due to construction. You can get to the parking lot from the Boonton Township side. There won’t be any swallows nesting on the dam this year! Lots of Bluebird boxes along the “new and improved” power lines. Also an Osprey platform between the woods and the lake and under the power line. Good luck!
1 Common Loon. Lack of waterfowl probably due to weekend boating.

Green Pond on Green Pond Road, Rockaway Twp., had 1 Common Loon, 4 Horned Grebe.

Jacob’s Road pond (off Green Pond Rd.) had 75 Ring-necked Ducks.

Lake Denmark: 1 Common Loon; Bald Eagle, 1 adult (on nest).

Mt. Hope Lake: Bald Eagle 2 adult (1 on nest); Mute Swan 75; Swallows – lots.

Mt. Hope Pond (the other one across the street)
15 Double-crested Cormorant competing with the fishermen.

Lake Parsippany – 15 Common Mergansers.

Jefferson Road Pond, Parsippany
Black-crowned Night-Heron 5 (roosting on the island).

Boonton Reservoir (Rt. 202 north side) – 2 Common Loons.

Tim Vogel, Denville


Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath has the same species that have been on the Raritan River this season (Jeff Ellerbusch): 8 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Greater Scaup, 23 Bufflehead, 9 Common Goldeneye, 24 Common Mergansers, 13 Red-breasted Mergansers (1 drake and 12 hens, a remarkable number for an unusually widespread species this past winter and spring), 60 Northern Rough-winged Swallows and 500 Tree Swallows.


From Chris Duffek, Sun. Apr. 6:
Managed a few hours today at Griggstown Grasslands. Short list includes:
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Field Sparrow
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Tree Swallows

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Sunday Field Notes, April 6, 2014

Lake Musconetcong had a Red-throated Loon today (Alan Boyd). Also present were 2 Common Loons, 5 Horned Grebes, 15 Gadwall, 2 American Wigeon, 1 Northern Shoveler, 15 Ring-necked Ducks, 8 Lesser Scaup and 25 Common Mergansers.

Lake Hopatcong had 4 Common Loons, 2 Horned Grebes, 60 Bufflehead (Alan Boyd). Budd Lake had 1 Common Loon (Mike Ostrow). Boonton Reservoir had 4 Common Loons (Cathy Millington).

A Glossy Ibis was a flyover in Lincoln Park today (Jill Homcy).

Glossy Ibis, Lincoln park, NJ, Apr. 6, 2014 (photo by Jill Homcy).

Glossy Ibis, Lincoln park, NJ, Apr. 6, 2014 (photo by Jill Homcy).

Florham Park Fields had 6 Wood Duck, 2 Green-winged Teal, 16 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Hooded Mergansers, 9 Killdeer and 9 Wilson’s Snipe (Chris Thomas).

Wilson's Snipe
Wilson’s Snipe, Florham Park, NJ, photo by Chris Thomas.

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Glossy Ibis, Loons, Long-tailed Ducks, Purple Martins, Apr. 5, 2014

Glossy Ibis in Whippany

Glossy Ibis, Whippany, NJ, Apr. 5, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Glossy Ibis, Whippany, NJ, Apr. 5, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The Glossy Ibis found late yesterday by Jamie Glydon at the north field of Birchwood Manor on Jefferson Road in Whippany, returned to the same field sometime after 6:30 this morning. It obligingly posed for countless pictures, occasionaly lifting off and flying around, always returning to the same patch of field. At one point it stood on the driveway 15 feet in front of my car for minutes until another car came by and flushed it to the field.

Glossy Ibis, Whippany, NJ, Apr. 5, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Glossy Ibis, Whippany, NJ, Apr. 5, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Long-tailed Ducks at Lake Parsippany

Long-tailed Ducks Lake Parsippany, NJ, Apr. 5, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

Long-tailed Ducks Lake Parsippany, NJ, Apr. 5, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

What were 4 Long-tailed Ducks yesterday became 22 today, give or take 1 or 2. Also on Lake Parsippany were a Common Loon, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, Horned Grebe, 60 Common Mergansers, 20+ Ruddy Ducks and Ring-necked Ducks (many observers).

Loons at Boonton Reservoir

A Red-throated Loon was at Boonton Reservoir early this morning until it flew up and away and out of the reservoir soon after being sighted. 4 Common Loons, a Horned Grebe, 5 Long-tailed Ducks and small amounts of Buffleheads and Common Mergansers were at the reservoir. A Common Goldeneye drake continues where the Rockaway River feeds into the reservoir. Approximately 27 Great Blue Herons and 45 Double-crested Cormorants were busy on the island (J. Klizas, Simon Lane).

Black-crowned Night-Herons in Parsippany

Black-Crowned Night Heron

(Black-crowned Night-Herons, photo by Chris Thomas)

Two adult yellow-legged Black-crowned Night-Herons continue at Jefferson Road Pond, Parsippany (many observers). David Bernstein points out that a previously seen Night-Heron had pinkish legs meaning there have been three Black-crowned Night-Herons at this spot.

Purple Martins in Morris Township

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(Purple Martin Photos by Jonathan Klizas. If you are reading this via email, a slide show appears on the mocosocoBirds.com web site)

Early? Not for Spring Brook Country Club in Morris Township. Today is the first report in 2014 for Purple Martins (PUMA) in Morris County but they may have come sooner. In 2013, PUMA were recorded at Spring Brook CC on April 2. According to eBird data for 2013, PUMA arrived in New Jersey on April 1. Spring Brook was the earliest location north of Forsythe NWR (AKA Brig) in 2013. This year? It is the same story. As of today, only Cape May and Forsythe NWR have eBird records for Purple Martin in NJ – except Spring Brook CC. 4 were seen flying near the clubhouse this afternoon. What is the early attraction? There is a Martin house next to the pond in front of the clubhouse. It is a very comfortable, affluent neighborhood. Who really knows. 30 Tree Swallows were also active along with 23 Ring-necked Ducks and 5 Bufflehead.

Other Field Notes

From Tom Halliwell:
There were ca. 10 Long-tailed Ducks (oh how I hate writing that name) on Budd Lake this morning. Also identifiable in the rough seas were several Common Loons and Horned Grebes among the usual suspects. I did have a possible Red-throated Loon (RTLO), but it was all the way at the back of the lake in wind-whipped water and I wasn’t certain of the ID. Interestingly I later found 4 RTLOs on Swartswood Lake (Sussex County) that were more easily studied. No Bonaparte’s Gulls were noticed, but again there were a few on Swartswood.

From Ken Hart:
More Eastern Meadowlarks and an American Kestrel at Black River and Lamington Roads in Bedminster today. Another Kestrel, Northern Flicker, and Black Vultures at the Robert Stahl Natural Area this afternoon in Bedminster.

Jamie Glydon reports a Horned Grebe in the ADP corporate pond on Hanover Road in Florham Park. Also, Florham Park Fields had 2 American Kestrels.

Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch had 2 Osprey, 2 Bald Eagles and 5 Sharp-shinned Hawks today (HMANA report by Tom Gorman, et al).

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Glossy Ibis in Morris, Apr. 4, 2014

Glossy Ibis, Whippany, NJ, Apr. 4, 2014 (ID photo by Jamie Glydon in miserable weather conditions).

Glossy Ibis, Whippany, NJ, Apr. 4, 2014 (ID photo by Jamie Glydon in miserable weather conditions).


A Glossy Ibis was found at the north field of Birchwood Manor on Jefferson Road in Whippany early this evening by birder extraordinaire and soon-to-be-former Morris County resident Jamie “Say’s Phoebe” Glydon. Glossy Ibis is a species that may be reported once or twice a year in Morris County, if at all. This same field has had American Pipits, Eastern Meadowlarks, various sparrow species such as Vesper, Savannah and White-crowned in the past. The Glossy Ibis left before other birders arrived but was relocated later, assuming it is the same individual, at Lake Parsippany by Simon Lane. Currently in close proximity in the Parsippany area are the following:

  • Two Black-crowned Night-Herons at Jefferson Road Pond
  • Long-tailed Ducks, Red-breasted Mergansers and other waterfowl at Lake Parsippany
  • Common Loons at Boonton Reservoir and Lake Parsippany
  • White-winged Scoter, twice in the past week at Boonton Reservoir
  • A Glossy Ibis…somewhere.
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