Wading Birds at Finderne Wetlands, Aug. 19, 2014

Glossy Ibis, Finderne Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 19, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Glossy Ibis, Finderne Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 19, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A Little Blue Heron and Glossy Ibis at Finderne Wetlands were eBirded yesterday, Aug. 18, by Kirsten Abildskov. Jeff Ellerbusch, Frank Sencher, Jr. and others descended on Finderne today. The final count of wading birds, give or take a few, is:
Great Blue Heron – 4
Great Egret – 22
Snowy Egret – 2
Little Blue Heron – 1
Green Heron – 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron – 2

Shorebirds present include: 1 Semipalmated Plover, 8 Killdeer, 4 Solitary Sandpipers, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, 13 Least Sandpipers, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper. Some of the shorebirds are on gravel bars in the Raritan River viewable from the park on Duke Parkway East.

One Little Blue Heron alone in Somerset County is impressive. 1 Glossy Ibis by itself is impressive. Add two Snowy Egrets (just one is extra-noteworthy), a rare visitor to both Morris and Somerset Counties, and a pair of Black-crowned Night-Herons as well as double-digit Great Egrets and the expected Great Blue and Green Herons and you have an unprecedented collection of species for the area. This event continues the exceptional year of 2014 for Herons, Egrets and Glossy Ibis in both Morris and Somerset Counties.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret at Finderne Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 19, 2014 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)


The story of the tagged Great Egret found yesterday at Melanie Lane Wetlands in Hanover Twp. is revealed. Susan Elbin, the director of Conservation and Science at New York City Audubon, wrote that 10D was tagged at Elder’s Marsh, Jamaica Bay on 10 July 2014. Dr. Elbin is also the president of The Waterbird Society.

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Caspian Tern, Little Blue Herons, Chimney Swift article, Aug. 18, 2014

Caspian Tern at Chimney Rock

A Caspian Tern was seen and photographed flying over Chimney Rock this morning (Jeff Ellerbusch). This is the second flyover Caspian Tern at Chimney Rock in 2014. The first was on May 4. Other species found there today include Least Flycatcher, Blue-winged, Black-and-white, Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided and Canada Warblers, Common Yellowthroat and American Redstart.


2 Semipalmated Plovers are at Finderne Wetlands (J. Ellerbusch)


7 Little Blue Herons in Hanover Township

One birder viewing from the north corroborated what another birder saw from the south confirming what a third birder thought he had seen earlier in the week: 7 juvenile Little Blue Herons at Melanie Lane Wetlands this afternoon (J. Klizas, Julie Buechner, Chuck Hantis in that order). As far as is known, this is a record high count for Morris County and undoubtedly more than most observers have seen in one place at one time anywhere other than coastal New Jersey.

The wading bird show continues at Melanie Lane with 4 Great Egrets appearing today, one of them tagged as shown in the photo below. This is probably a Jamaica bay-tagged individual similar to one found at this same location in 2012.

Tagged Great Egret, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 18, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Tagged Great Egret, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 18, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Chimney Swift Article

Pete Bacinski wrote an article for NJ.com on Chimney Swifts, mentioning the property near River Road, Raritan that he mentions in this post. The link to Pete’s article at NJ.com is here.

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Bird notes from the weekend, Aug. 17, 2014

Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Aug. 14, 2014 (photo by Carolyn Arnesen)

Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Aug. 14, 2014 (photo by Carolyn Arnesen)

(Click on the photos for a larger image.)

On August 14, a Short-billed Dowitcher (SBDO) was photographed at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve by Carolyn Arnesen. SBDO is a very rare Somerset County migrant. Little Hannah’s Pond continues to attract interesting species. At the same time the SBDO was at the pond, a young Broad-winged Hawk was in the same vicinity.

Broad-winged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Aug. 14, 2014 (photo by Carolyn Arnesen)

Broad-winged Hawk, Negri-Nepote Grasslands, NJ, Aug. 14, 2014 (photo by Carolyn Arnesen)


A stunning Lawrence’s Warbler was found at Glenhurst Meadows on Sunday, Aug. 17 (Jeff Ellerbusch, Roger Johnson). Other warblers reported include Blue-winged, Black-and-white, Blackburnian, Prairie, Common Yellowthroat and American Redstart. Bobolinks are also frequenting the meadow.


Melanie Lane Wetlands continues to host 6 Little Blue Herons, a pair of Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Green Herons. Sunday, Aug. 17, 2 Black-crowned Night-Herons joined the group (Chuck Hantis).

Black-crowned Night-Heron, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 17, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Black-crowned Night-Heron, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 17, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)


From Tim Vogel, Denville, NJ:
Friday, 8/15/14, from 6:45 – 7:15 pm watching from my backyard – I’m on the east side of a minor ridge and one block from a lake.
Common Nighthawk 1
Chimney Swift 25
Barn Swallow 15
Tree Swallow 1
PURPLE MARTIN 6 (yard bird)

Saturday 8/16/14
Lake Denmark Rd., Rockaway Township
4:30 pm Bald Eagle (adult) I’m coming around a corner and this bird is coming off roadkill (opossum) right at my car. I had not one but two cop cars behind me. I slowed, rolled down my window and pointed. They slowed and I’m sure saw it.

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Birds of Glenhurst Meadows, Aug. 16, 2014

Glenhurst Meadows is getting into southward-bound-migration shape as evidenced by the eBird report by Jeff Ellerbusch reproduced, in part, below:

Killdeer – 4
Spotted Sandpiper – 2
Solitary Sandpiper – 1
Greater Yellowlegs – 2
Lesser Yellowlegs – 2
Least Sandpiper – 5

2 Red-headed Woodpeckers are in the area. A Least Flycatcher was seen.

13 warbler species are tallied: Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Blue-winged and Black-and-white Warblers, Mourning Warbler (photographed by Harvey Tomlinson and viewable on his Flickr page, here. Other warblers: Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Blackburnian, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Prairie and Canada Warblers. A female Golden-winged Warbler was spotted by Harvey Tomlinson.


Parsippany Night-Herons

Jefferson Road Pond, Parsippany is quiet of late but the Night-Herons continue sporadically. 5 Black-crowned Night-Herons and 1 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron were eBirded by Julie Buechner on August 14. They are apparently using the island and other nearby locations for roosting.

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Chimney Swifts of Raritan and other field notes, Aug. 15, 2014

Chimney Swifts of Raritan

From Pete Bacinski:
“Sandra Escala and I have been monitoring an old industrial chimney on Orlando Drive in Raritan about a mile west of Route 206. Last night we estimated about 1,000 Chimney Swifts there at dusk entering the chimney. There is ample parking there. Two years ago, I estimated 5,000 birds. The colony grows as more birds join it as they move south.”

[Editor's note: the building is near the bridge over River Road and is thought to be property of Duke Farms. Pete will have an article regarding Chimney Swifts and this location in NJ.com in the next few days].


And then there were six…

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)

They gather on the snag in the waning light. 6 Little Blue Herons, the high count so far, were seen and photographed at Melanie Lane Wetlands by Chuck Hantis after 6 p.m. this evening. The regular pair of Great Egrets continue as well. The Snowy Egret of a few days ago has not been seen since.


Whip-poor-will in Great Swamp NWR

From Terry Carruthers:
“An Eastern Whip-poor-will just passed east along Whitebridge Rd, near the old cement plant. It was 8:30 pm and the bird was calling actively. A Barred Owl was also calling nearby.”


American Redstart, Griggstown Grasslands, NJ, Aug. 15, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

American Redstart, Griggstown Grasslands, NJ, Aug. 15, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

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Bird Notes, Aug. 14, 2014

The Little Blue Herons of Morris County continue today. One was at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits along with a handful of Least Sandpipers, Killdeer, Green and Great Blue Herons, and only 1 Great Egret (Roger Johnson, J. Klizas).

Only one Little Blue Heron was found at Melanie Lane Wetlands early this afternoon where there were 5 yesterday (see that post here). Yesterday’s Snowy Egret was not seen today. A Lesser Yellowlegs, a few Killdeer and Least Sandpipers and the regular 2 Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Green Herons were present (J. Klizas).

The herons and egrets can hide in the west end of the marsh. Later in the day at 7 p.m., Chuck Hantis had a group of four Little Blue Herons appear. See the photo below.

Little Blue Herons, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 14, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Little Blue Herons, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 14, 2014 (photo by Chuck Hantis)


2 Semipalmated Plovers are at Finderne Wetlands but viewed from the small park on Duke Parkway (see map). Spotted and Least Sandpipers are also at Finderne (Jeff Ellerbusch)

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Snowy Egret and 5 Little Blue Herons in Hanover Twp., Aug. 13, 2014

Little Blue Herons (LBHE) continue to be an interesting story this summer. Two more juveniles were at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits on Aug. 11 along with 6 Great Blue Herons, 11 Great Egrets, 3 Green Herons, 21 Killdeer and 17 Least Sandpipers.

This afternoon, two juvenile LBHEs continued at Melanie Lane Wetlands. Suddenly, a number of white birds flushed from the western end of the marsh revealing 5(!) juvenile Little Blue Herons, a Snowy Egret and two Great Egrets. 4 LBHEs were seen here on July 27 (Tim Vogel). They can easily hide among the tall vegetation on the west side of the marsh.

Other than a successful breeding year in the region, there is no attempt in this space to explain the unprecedented influx of LBHEs in Morris and Somerset Counties this summer.

Melanie Lane also has 3 Green Herons, 3 Killdeer, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 9 Least Sandpipers and 1 Pectoral Sandpiper.

Snowy Egret is a rare species in both Morris and Somerset Counties with few records over the years. This is the second Snowy Egret for Morris in 2014. The first was on May 1. Somerset also has one record for 2014 seen on private property on April 29.

Snowy Egret, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 13, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Snowy Egret, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 13, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

At sunset, all 5 Little Blue Herons assembled on and around the tree in the photo below. Soon thereafter, the two Great Egrets attempted to take over the tree causing the LBHEs and 1 Great Egret to fly westward towards an unknown nocturnal roost.

5 Little Blue Herons, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 13, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

5 Little Blue Herons, Melanie Lane, Hanover Twp., NJ, Aug. 13, 2014 (photo by J. Klizas)

On Aug. 11, Chuck Hantis photographed some of the Little Blue Herons of Melanie Lane Wetlands as shown below. Click on the photo for a larger image.

Little Blue Heron, Melanie Lane, Hanover, NJ, Aug. 11, 2014 (Photo by Chuck Hantis)

Little Blue Heron, Melanie Lane, Hanover, NJ, Aug. 11, 2014 (Photo by Chuck Hantis)

Little Blue Heron, Melanie Lane, Hanover, NJ, Aug. 11, 2014 (Photo by Chuck Hantis)

Little Blue Heron, Melanie Lane, Hanover, NJ, Aug. 11, 2014 (Photo by Chuck Hantis)


The little known Fish Tract in Florham Park had 2 Great Egrets, 1 each of Killdeer, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, and 7 Least Sandpipers.


Today’s storm passage did not produce any remarkable fallout birds. An Osprey was at Boonton Reservoir. Many of the Double-crested Cormorants were loafing on the east shore, not on the island as usual. An adult Bald Eagle perched on the island may have something to do with that.


The Daily Planets

If you are awake an hour or more before sunrise for the next few mornings (sunrise is approximately 6:07 a.m.), look towards the east for Jupiter and Venus, our sky’s two brightest planets, as they engage in the closest planet-to-planet conjunction of 2014. Their closest convergence will be August 18.

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Little Blue Herons, Aug. 10, 2014

Little Blue Heron, Melanie Lane Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 10, 2014 (ID photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Little Blue Heron, Melanie Lane Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 10, 2014 (ID photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Little Blue Heron sightings are at higher than usual numbers in Morris and Somerset Counties in 2014. 2 Little Blue Herons continue at Melanie Lane Wetlands as of today. They are joined by a Great Egret, 3 Green Herons, 4 Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper, 2 Greater Yellowlegs and 8 Least Sandpipers.

Green Heron, Melanie Lane Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 10, 2014 (ID photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Green Heron, Melanie Lane Wetlands, NJ, Aug. 10, 2014 (ID photo by Jonathan Klizas)

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Birding week in review, Aug. 2, 2014

mocosocoBirds will return on a regular and timely schedule after the next weekend.

Morris County:

From Tim Vogel, July 27
Jefferson Rd. , Pond Parsippany
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 1 on lawn
Green Heron 1
Black crowned Night-Heron 1- spillway
Yellow crowned Night-Heron 1 – juvenile – southeast corner in dead tree
DC Cormorant 1

Melanie Lane, Whippany
Great Blue Heron – 3
Great Egret – 4
Little Blue Heron 4 – all juveniles
Green Heron – 4
Greater Yellowlegs – 6
Also Killdeer, Willow Flycatcher, Tree Swallows, and a Monarch butterfly

Tim Vogel, Denville


Somerset County:

On July 29, 2 Little Blue Herons and 1 Cattle Egret were at Negri-Nepote Grasslands (photographed and eBirded by Kirsten Abildskov – also eBirded by Kathleen and Jackie La Corte). There are no reports since.

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Little Blue Heron in Morris County, July 24, 2014

Little Blue Heron, Lincoln Park, NJ, July 24, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Little Blue Heron, Lincoln Park, NJ, July 24, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A juvenile Little Blue Heron joined the 21 Great Blue Herons, 5 Green Herons and 17 Great Egrets at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits this morning. The throng was at the southern end of the main lake. The photo above is from a distance and heavily cropped.

It was mentioned in an earlier post on July 13 how the invasive Water Chestnut (allegedly Trapa natans) is blanketing most of the lake and will cover it entirely in the next year or two. Interestingly, numerous Wood Ducks, especially ducklings, are using the vegetation mat for cover and Cedar Waxwings and Red-winged Blackbirds are standing on the mat hawking insects.

This space has previously stated the following and will say it again: there is no easy way to visit the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits. Street parking is all that is available. The legal entry is from the northwest end where there is a very small, easy to miss trail on Lincoln Park Rd. near Kamm St. slightly west of the Knights of Columbus facility. You can find a vague trail that eventually traverses a berm separating the swim club from the rest of the pits. People use this area for fishing. A hunting club is leasing the rest of the property, so this author is told. In other words, you are on your own if you wish to explore the property further .


An adult male Blue Grosbeak made an appearance in Hillsborough today at Hillsborough Road near the Rt. 206 bypass (Frank Sencher, Jr.).

 

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