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.


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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.


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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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Sandhill Cranes, Waterfowl, Frigid Air, Jan. 8, 2015

Sandhill Crane, Franklin Twp., NJ, Jan. 8, 2015 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

Sandhill Crane, Franklin Twp., NJ, Jan. 8, 2015 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The Sandhill Cranes of Franklin Township continue their observational reliability on a daily basis. They were practically drive-up birds today – a good thing for birders considering the brutally cold temperatures. Many observers reported 8 Sandhill Cranes at Randolph Road opposite Apgar Rd. today. If not found on Randolph Road, the cranes are visiting the cornfields southeast of the intersection of nearby Mettlers and Weston Roads.

Sandhill Cranes, Franklin Twp., NJ, Jan. 8, 2015 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

Sandhill Cranes, Franklin Twp., NJ, Jan. 8, 2015 (photo by Jim Mulvey)


The rare geese of Somerset County (Barnacle, Greater White-fronted and Cackling) lacked any reports today, perhaps because the frigid temperatures kept anyone from looking.


The current arctic air mass is freezing most of the bodies of water in Morris and Somerset counties. What little open water remains will host whatever waterfowl continue in the area.

If Mallards turn you on, 300 were at Bernardsville Quarry this afternoon and another 259 were on the Raritan River, viewed from the D&R Canal Towpath (Jeff Ellerbusch).

Otherwise, Bernardsville Quarry had 2 Wood Ducks, 2 American Wigeon, 24 American Black Ducks, 13 Ring-necked Ducks and 18 Hooded Mergansers.

The D&R Canal Towpath had 18 Common Goldeneye, 2 Northern Pintail, 6 Ring-necked Ducks, 7 Bufflehead, 2 Hooded and 19 Common Mergansers and 2 Pied-billed Grebes.


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 County Geese, Jan. 5, 2015

Barnacle Goose, North Branch Park, NJ, Jan. 5, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Barnacle Goose, North Branch Park, NJ, Jan. 5, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The Barnacle Goose and friends are favoring the North Branch Park, Bridgewater Twp. and Studdiford Drive, Branchburg Twp. corridor recently. Today, the Barnacle Goose, 1,500 Canada Geese and a Cackling Goose dominated North Branch Park for most of the day with reports from morning to dusk. The photo above has the goose on the expansive model airplane field just north of the Somerset County Parks Commission office building.

Greater White-fronted Goose, Duke Island Park, NJ, Jan. 5, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Greater White-fronted Goose, Duke Island Park, NJ, Jan. 5, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The Greater White-fronted Goose, 900+ Canada Geese plus a Cackling Goose continue to favor Duke Island Park and were in the small pond most of the day.

These are the expected locations and related map links for the geese:


Other Field Notes

The 8 Sandhill Cranes of Franklin Twp. were seen today on Mettlers Rd., south of the Weston Rd. intersection (Jeff Ellerbusch).

7 American Wigeon, 2 Ring-necked Ducks and 2 Gadwall were at Colonial Park (J. Ellerbusch).


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.


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Sunday Bird Notes: Geese, Jan. 4, 2015

Somerset County Geese

Barnacle GooseFrom Bob Auster: “The Barnacle Goose is in the corn fields off of the intersection of Studdiford Drive and South Branch Road, in Branchburg with a small group of Canada Geese today, 1/4/15 at 12:45 PM. Found by a nice lady from out of town who directed me to the bird.”

These are the expected locations and related map links for the Barnacle Goose:

Greater White-fronted Goose - no known reports from today, Jan. 4 , but was seen either at Duke Island Park or in the Raritan River on Jan. 3.

Cackling Goose - continues at Duke Island Park.


Cackling Goose in Morris County

Cackling Goose

Cackling Goose, Loantaka Brook Reservation – photo by Chris Thomas

Morris County’s second report of a Cackling Goose in 2015 occurred at Loantaka Brook Reservation (Chris Thomas). It was seen on the ball fields on the north side of park next to the Seaton Hackney Stables. It was not present later in the afternoon. Same goose as the Speedwell Cackling?


Other Field Notes

A drake Red-breasted Merganser is at Boonton Reservoir along with 6 Pied-billed Grebes and a small number of Common and Hooded Mergansers, Bufflehads, Gadwall and not much else.


Pileated Woodpecker at Great Swamp NWR – photo by Chuck Hantis

Pileated Woodpecker, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 4, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Pileated Woodpecker, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 4, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)


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.


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Posted in Morris County, Somerset County | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Barnacle Goose, Sandhill Cranes in Somerset County, Jan. 2, 2015

Barnacle Goose and Friends

Be aware that Somerset County’s first record Barnacle Goose now frequents North Branch Park which is approximately 2 miles and 5 minutes from Duke Island Park.

It is very doable to see the Greater White-fronted Goose and Cackling Goose (or geese) at Duke Island Park, hop in your car, take Old York Road west to Milltown Road, travel north, cross over Rt. 202 and you are there. Simple. You can pick the Barnacle Goose out of 1,200 Canada Geese.

Today, the Greater White-fronted Goose was at Duke Island Park in the late morning; the Barnacle Goose was at North Branch Park at noon (Vicki Schwartz).


Sandhill Cranes

The 8 Sandhill Cranes of Franklin Township were, once again, seen in the corn fields along Randolph Road (many observers). If not there, they may be in the fields west of the intersection of nearby Mettlers Road and Weston Road. To get there from Randolph Rd., take Randolph south to Schoolhouse; turn right on Schoolhouse and then left on Mettlers; right on Weston. The fields are on your left (south side of the road).


Other Field Notes

2 Pine Siskins were noted this morning at Loantaka Brook Reservation (Simon Lane).

A Common Loon was reported from Boonton Reservoir (Kevin Browne).


I C U

People walked, jogged and rode bicycles on the Columbia Trail in Long Valley in close proximity,  but this “stealthy” Great Blue Heron did not budge.

Great Blue Heron, Long Valley, NJ, Jan. 2, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Great Blue Heron, Long Valley, NJ, Jan. 2, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)


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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Bonaparte’s Gulls, Barnacle Goose, other Bird Notes, Jan.,1 2015

Bonaparte’s Gulls

After writing Tom Boyle today telling him of the Bonaparte’s Gulls in Morris County, Tom replied and said: “Cold fronts seem to move Bonaparte’s Gulls off the Great Lakes through January”. Wise words, well stated.

Today’s influx of Bonaparte’s Gulls in Morris County is the first time this species is reported in January (or December, or February) in  Morris and Somerset Counties in the Age of eBird. Of course, ornithological history does not begin in 2002, the birth year of eBird, but unless pre-eBird records surface, this is what we have.

3 Bonaparte’s Gulls on Lake Hopatcong; 2 (at least) on Lake Musconetcong; 2 at Boonton Reservoir (Simon Lane) and 4 at a private pond in Somerset County, represent a virtual invasion of Bonaparte’s Gulls on this day.

Tundra Swans, Redheads

Lake Hopatcong is an annual winter host to Tundra Swans. 4 were near the base of Halsey Island this morning, viewed from Nolans Point at the northern end of the lake. The Tundra and Mute Swans move around. Two weeks ago they were between Brady Road Bridge and Nolans Point; last week they were at the south end of the lake at Hopatcong State Park. That area is frozen now as is the lake north of Nolans Point. Hundreds of Herring Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls plus a handful of Great Black-backed Gulls were also on and around the lake.

A pair of Redhead drakes landed in the waters north of Bertrand Island in the morning but were not relocated. A Common Loon was north of Bertrand’s Island along with a raft of Common Mergansers.

Common Loon, Lk. Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 1, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Common Loon, Lk. Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 1, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The Geese of Somerset County

The Barnacle Goose was seen this morning flying over Duke Island Park headed west (Jeff Ellerbusch). Otherwise, it was not reported at all from Duke Island Park today. However, it was sighted at North Branch Park with 1,200 Canada Geese in the early afternoon (Tom Smith).

The Greater White-fronted Goose and Cackling Goose at Duke Island Park were seen today in the Raritan River by many observers. The park is a big place. If the geese are not on the turf the chances are very good they are somewhere in the river often near the far western most parking lot.

Sandhill Cranes

The Sandhill Cranes are using a field other than the one on Randolph Road, Franklin Township. For the past few days, they are reported from a field west of the intersection of Metler’s and Weston Rd.

Other Field Notes

Budd Lake is almost entirely frozen. The recent cold front is freezing much of the lakes and other bodies of water in Morris.

Kenvil Lake is still mostly open and continues to harbor a raft of 50 Lesser Scaup, 100 Ruddy Ducks, 27 Ring-necked Ducks and a continuing female Red-breasted Merganser, most likely the same one that has been at the lake for weeks.

Red-breasted Merganser, Kenvil Lake, NJ, Jan. 1, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Red-breasted Merganser, Kenvil Lake, NJ, Jan. 1, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Morristown’s Cackling Goose continues at Speedwell Lake as of today. This individual stands out with its silvery sheen. In Morris County, it is unusual for a Cackling Goose to be this cooperative and stay around as long as this goose has.

Cackling Goose with Canada Geese, Speedwell Lake, NJ,  Jan. 1, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Cackling Goose with Canada Geese, Speedwell Lake, NJ, Jan. 1, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


The Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath in Franklin Township is one of the best venues for observing waterfowl on the Raritan River in Somerset County.  21 Common Goldeneye were on the river today. The high count for Common Goldeneyes  at this location is 116 on March 11, 2014.  Another species of seasonal interest found at this location today is a Brown Thrasher (Jeff Ellerbusch).


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 , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2014 – A Birding Year in Review, Dec. 31, 2014

2014 – The Morris and Somerset County Birding Year

A highlight summary of the 2014 birding year in Morris and Somerset Counties, New Jersey is given below. There are far too many omissions and far too little time to compile all of them into one document.

The links to the eBird county bar graphs below will contain all of the species reported to eBird in both counties. Once in the bar graph, clicking on the map button for a particular species brings the viewer to a range map for that species and time frame. Clicking on the markers on that map will give you a list of observers and further links to checklists which may contain photos and other documentation.

Here are the 2014 county lists in bar graph format based on eBird data:


Winter

Great Brook, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 3, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Great Brook, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 3, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The winter of 2014 was the coldest and snowiest anyone can remember. Most water was frozen; birds were scarce. Greater White-fronted Geese and Rough-legged Hawks brightened up the winter with numerous reports of both species.

Rough-legged hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 30, 2014 (photo by Mitch Van Beekum)

Rough-legged hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 30, 2014 (photo by Mitch Van Beekum)

The Somerset County Sandhill Cranes were viewed intermittently. Sandhill Cranes were also seen at the Great Swamp NWR with a smattering of reports from March 16-May 25.

Sandhill Cranes, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 16, 2014 (photo by Jason Denesevich).

Sandhill Cranes, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 16, 2014 (photo by Jason Denesevich).

A Red-necked Grebe was found at what little water was open at Clyde Potts Reservoir in Mendham Twp. on February 22 and stayed through March 27.


Spring

Snowy Owl, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Mar. 30, 2014

Snowy Owl, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Mar. 30, 2014

The only documented Snowy Owl in Morris County, in the year of the Snowy Owl, was at Lake Hopatcong, March 30.

Spring was noteworthy with Yellow-throated Warblers, Summer Tanagers and a Little Blue Heron. A Eurasian Wigeon, very rare in the mocosocoBirds region, was found at Finderne Wetlands on the vernal equinox, March 20, and was seen sporadically until March 30 –  sometimes at Duke Farms.

Yellow-throated Warblers are rarely encountered in Morris and Somerset Counties. 2014 offered the contrary. One at Colonial Park, Franklin Twp. was observed by many birders from April 14 through May 13. Another migrant passed through Lord Stirling Park and yet another in Far Hills. Three were reported in Morris County.

Yellow-throated Warbler, Franklin Twp., NJ, Apr. 16, 2014 (photo by Bill Dix).

Yellow-throated Warbler, Franklin Twp., NJ, Apr. 16, 2014 (photo by Bill Dix).

Little Blue Herons are reported in Morris County once a year, if at all. An adult was at Loantaka Brook Reservation from April 13-24 and may be the most photographed Little Blue Heron in the digital age.

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Little Blue Heron, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Apr. 19, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was at Lord Stirling Park, April 29.

A Caspian Tern flew over Chimney Rock on May 4.  7 Common Terns were at Budd Lake, May 1. A Black Tern at Budd Lake on May 8 was only the 3rd report in the past 10 years in Morris.

Black Tern, Budd Lake, NJ, May 8, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Black Tern, Budd Lake, NJ, May 8, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A Snowy Egret, rare in Morris and Somerset, spent part of the day in left field at a flooded Denville park on May 1. More would be found during the Summer.

Glossy Ibis were practically widespread in Morris. 2 were at Melanie Lane Wetlands April 20-May 15; 2 were at GS May 17;  1 in Whippany April 4; 1 in Lincoln Park, April 6.

Spring migration started slowly but the month of May saw a steady stream of migrants. On May 26 a pair of Summer Tanagers was found in Lord Stirling Park that stayed into June. The two constructed a nest but breeding was never confirmed.

Summer Tanager, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, May 26, 2014 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Summer Tanager, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, May 26, 2014 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

2 Blue Grosbeaks were at Florham Park Fields from May 28 to June 8. Mourning Warblers were scarce, as usual, but 3 at South Branch Preserve in Mt. Olive on May 24 was a remarkable find.

Cerulean Warblers were found at Chimney Rock, Beaver Brook Trail in Rockaway Twp., Mahlon Dickerson and Stephens State Park (Waterloo Valley Road).

Prothonotary Warblers nested again along the Passaic River north of White Bridge. Others were reported during the season from Great Swamp NWR, Glenhurst Meadows and Bedminster.

Prothonotary Warbler, Passaic River, Morris/Somerset, May 3, 2014 (photo by Kevin Browne)

Prothonotary Warbler, Passaic River, Morris/Somerset, May 3, 2014 (photo by Kevin Browne)


Summer

For the second consecutive year on the same date, June 22, in the same exact location, a Common Gallinule was found at Deerhaven Lake, Jefferson Twp., the only report in 2014 for this species in Morris and Somerset.

Common Gallinule, Deerhaven Lake, NJ, June 22, 2014 (heavily cropped photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Common Gallinule, Deerhaven Lake, NJ, June 22, 2014 (heavily cropped photo by Jonathan Klizas).

On June 23, an immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, possibly a returnee from 2013 when two juveniles spent the autumn, was found at Jefferson Road Pond, Parsippany. It would be seen until August 14. A Winter Wren was heard in Rockaway Twp., June 28. Yellow-breasted Chats were in Lord Stirling Park and the Great Swamp NWR.

Dickcissels bred again at Negri-Nepote Native Grasslands. Cliff Swallows nested in Franklin Twp. and Boonton Reservoir. 2 Cattle Egrets flew over Duke Farms on July 13.

Dickcissel, Negri-Nepote Grassland Preserve, NJ, July 7, 2014 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Dickcissel, Negri-Nepote Grassland Preserve, NJ, July 7, 2014 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Two separate Henslow’s Sparrows were documented at private areas of Duke Farms. Nesting was possible but not confirmed.

Little Blue Herons invaded Morris and Somerset Counties in 2014. 7 juvenile Little Blue Herons inhabited Melanie Lane Wetlands from late July into September. 4 more were at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits in August. This was an unprecedented occurrence of this species in Morris.

Little Blue Herons, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 15, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Little Blue Herons, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 15, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

2 Little Blue Herons were at Finderne Wetlands during July and August. Even more interesting at Finderne was a Glossy Ibis on August 18-21 and two Snowy Egrets August 19-21.

Snowy Egrets, Finderne Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 20, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Snowy Egrets, Finderne Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 20, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Caspian Tern flew over Chimney Rock (again!) on August 28. Another Caspian Tern was viewed at Lake Musconetcong on September 12.

Caspian Tern, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Sep. 12, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Caspian Tern, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Sep. 12, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Shorebirds were uneventful this summer. A highlight in Somerset County was as Short-billed Dowitcher at Glenhurst Meadows on August 27.

Short-billed Dowitcher, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 27, 2014 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

Short-billed Dowitcher, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Aug. 27, 2014 (photo by Jim Mulvey)


Autumn to year’s end

Chimney Rock Hawkwatch data can be found here
You can poke around the following web site for Wildcat Ridge Hawkwatch data: Hawkcount.org’s Wildcat Ridge page.

A White-winged Scoter was at Boonton Reservoir October 3. 4 were at Lake Parsippany November 6. A juvenile Great Cormorant was at Mt. Hope Lake, October 11-12.

Orange-crowned Warblers were at Glenhurst Meadows, October 29-30 and Great Swamp NWR, October 19 and 28.

Orange-crowned Warbler, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Oct. 28, 2014 (photo by Joe Pescatore)

Orange-crowned Warbler, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Oct. 28, 2014 (photo by Joe Pescatore)

A Western Kingbird was photographed at Lord Stirling Park, October 25.

Western Kingbird, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, Oct. 25, 2014 (photo by Michael Zielinski)

Western Kingbird, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, Oct. 25, 2014 (photo by Michael Zielinski)

Two Selasphorus Hummingbirds were present this autumn. One, in the Great Swamp NWR, will eventually be listed as a Rufous/Allen’s. The second, in Warren Township at a private location, is identified as a female Rufous Hummingbird and is present to the end of the year.

Purple Finches were widespread throughout the season and vanished just as quickly as they arrived.

33 Horned Grebes were at Budd Lake November 25.

Sandhill Cranes returned for the 8th year in Franklin Township. This year there is a total of 8.

The shorebird of the year in Morris is a White-rumped Sandpiper at Tilcon Lake, Mt. Olive on November 15.

White-rumped Sandpiper, Mt. Olive, NJ, Nov. 15, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

White-rumped Sandpiper, Mt. Olive, NJ, Nov. 15, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Snow Buntings made an unusual appearance in Morris with 3 at Budd Lake November 4-8 and 49 at Melanie Lane Wetlands on November 30.

A modest influx of Pine Siskins occurred in the autumn and early winter. Common Redpolls were noted in a few instances in the Great Swamp NWR and at a feeder in Denville.

A late Nashville Warbler visited a yard in Madison on December 11.

Nashville Warbler, Madison, NJ, Dec. 11, 2014 (photo by Corey Dwyer)

Nashville Warbler, Madison, NJ, Dec. 11, 2014 (photo by Corey Dwyer)

6 White-winged Crossbills were found on the Great Swamp Christmas Bird Count on December 20. A single White-winged Crossbill visited a feeder in Flanders from December 23-30. These are the only Crossbills reported in Morris and Somerset in 2014.

White-winged Crossbill, Flanders, NJ, Dec. 23, 2014 (photo by Alan Boyd)

White-winged Crossbill, Flanders, NJ, Dec. 23, 2014 (photo by Alan Boyd)

2014 finished with a bang, or maybe that should be a honk. Somerset County’s record first Barnacle Goose arrived at Duke Island Park on December 25 and was a viewed by many to the end of the year. Greater White-fronted Geese and Cackling Geese were also present, of course.

Barnacle Goose, Duke Island Park, NJ, Dec. 26, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Barnacle Goose, Duke Island Park, NJ, Dec. 26, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

2014 Christmas Bird Counts (CBC):
The Great Swamp – Watchung Ridges CBC on December 20 – the summary is here.
The Boonton CBC on December 21 – the summary is here.


In Memoriam

Alan Brady, pelagic pioneer, Tuesday, January 21 at 93 years of age.
Len Soucy, founder of the Raptor Trust, June 11.
Jim Zamos, well-known and beloved New Jersey birder, age 83, December 19.


Finis


Posted in Historical, Morris County, Somerset County | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Sunday Bird Notes, Dec. 28, 2014

Somerset County’s first record Barnacle Goose continues today at Duke Island Park, witnessed by many observers. Greater White-fronted, Cackling, Snow and Canada Geese add to the current goose fest.

A hearty thanks to all of the eBird observers for using the Duke Island Park Hotspot as the location of their checklist. This makes an enormous difference in getting the data for a particular site. The link for the eBird Hotspot Explorer for Duke Island Park is here. Thank you, again! To learn more about using eBird Hotspots, mocosocoBirds has a Hotspot Primer here.


A Lesser Black-backed Gull continues sporadically at Budd Lake. It was there this afternoon with 95 Ring-billed and 150 Herring Gulls. 1 Horned Grebe, 170 Common Mergansers, 24 Ruddy Ducks and 180 Canada Geese contributed to the inhabitants of the lake. Budd Lake is another eBird Hotspot. View Budd Lake’s data here.


Another body of water hosting the current dominant duck of Morris County is Clyde Potts Reservoir where 348 Common Mergansers were counted today.


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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