More with Rough-legged Hawks, Sat. Feb. 14, 2015

From Bobby Skrabal:
My dad and I visited Six Mile Run and Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve this morning. I saw a lone Rough-legged Hawk while driving on South Middlebush on my way to Six Mile Run. At Six Mile Run our only surprising bird was a wintering Gray Catbird. Then we headed to Negri-Nepote. There were at least 2 dark-morph Rough-legged Hawks and a light-morph there. After seeing Rough-leggeds at Duke Farms, Six Mile Run, and here, I would definitely recommend Negri-Nepote for those who want photos. They were posing on the telephone and electrical wires, and flew directly overhead multiple times.

[Editor’s note: Bobby later informed mocosocoBirds that the Negri-Nepote Rough-legged Hawks are all adults meaning they are likely the same hawks seen yesterday at Six Mile Run.


David Bernstein reports a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk at Burnt Mills Road, Bedminster this morning.

Rough-legged Hawks continue to be seen at Duke Farms and environs.


Pine Siskins are widely reported throughout Morris and Somerset Counties today.

This is the weekend of the Great Backyard Bird Count. The eBird database is being flooded with reports – a virtual tidal wave of data. Enjoy responsibly.


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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Rough-legged Hawks in Franklin Twp.; Frost’s Bluebird, Feb. 13, 2015

Rough-legged Hawks

Rough-legged Hawk, Six Mile Run, NJ, Feb. 13, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

Rough-legged Hawk, Six Mile Run, NJ, Feb. 13, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Duke Farms in Hillsborough Twp. has tallied at least 9 Rough-legged Hawks this week but does not have a monopoly on the species in Somerset County. 4 Rough-legged Hawks, including 3 dark morph individuals, were seen and photographed at Six Mile Run in neighboring Franklin Township this cold day by Chris Duffek while in the safety and warmth of his truck at Jacques Lane.

Clearly, Somerset County and the Meadowlands in Bergen County are the two hot spots for Rough-legged Hawks in New Jersey this month.

Rough-legged Hawk, Six Mile Run, NJ, Feb. 13, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

Rough-legged Hawk, Six Mile Run, NJ, Feb. 13, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

While Somerset County has a virtual glut of Rough-legged Hawks, Morris has barely any, although a light morph Rough-legged Hawk was reported this afternoon at 1:30 from the overlook on Pleasant Plains Rd., Great Swamp NWR by Patrick DiMarco.


The Last Word of a Bluebird
by Robert Frost

Eastern Bluebirds, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 13, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Eastern Bluebirds, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 13, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

As told to a child

As I went out a Crow
In a low voice said, “Oh,
I was looking for you.
How do you do?
I just came to tell you
To tell Lesley (will you?)
That her little Bluebird
Wanted me to bring word
That the north wind last night
That made the stars bright
And made ice on the trough
Almost made him cough
His tail feathers off.
He just had to fly!
But he sent her Good-by,
And said to be good,
And wear her red hood,
And look for the skunk tracks
In the snow with an ax-
And do everything!
And perhaps in the spring
He would come back and sing.”

Eastern Bluebird, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 13, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Eastern Bluebird, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 13, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


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

Thursday Bird Notes, Feb. 12, 2015

Rough-legged Hawks in Hillsborough Twp.

6 Rough-legged Hawks were seen this morning at Duke Farms (Jeff Ellerbusch). The raptor excitement appears to be subsiding a bit (9 is the most seen at one time this week at Duke Farms) but that is still an outstanding number. Add this to the many Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks that are present and you have an impressive concentration of raptors. The fields at Duke Farms are well stocked with food to support all the predators, or, as Frank Sencher, Jr. said: “I wouldn’t want to be a Meadow Vole here.”


Out on the Ice

Budd Lake is thoroughly frozen and covered with snow as are all the northwestern Morris lakes. A drive to the municipal beach this afternoon showed one ice fisherman preparing a fishing hole. The following scenario was also occurring. Out on the frozen lake surface, far from any disturbances and one of the only living creatures on the ice besides the fisherman, was a Red-tailed Hawk, intently eating prey (click on the photo for a larger image).

Red-tailed Hawk, Budd Lake, NJ, Feb. 12, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Red-tailed Hawk, Budd Lake, NJ, Feb. 12, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

To the Red-tailed Hawk’s right (the viewer’s left) stood a Peregrine Falcon, eyeing the hawk for the entire time this observer was present at the scene. Was the Peregrine waiting for an opportunity to seize a meal? Or had the Red-tailed Hawk pirated a prey item from the Peregrine?

Peregrine Falcon, Budd Lake, NJ, Feb. 12, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Peregrine Falcon, Budd Lake, NJ, Feb. 12, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Other Field Notes

3 Redheads continue at Clyde Potts Reservoir, Mendham Twp. Only 8 Canada Geese and 9 Common Mergansers were with the Redheads as the ice advances, steadily solidifying the remaining open water at the reservoir. In January, over 1,000 Canada Geese were regularly found here.


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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More Rough-legged Hawks, Feb. 11, 2015

Rough-legged Hawks Continue

Rough-legged Hawk and Am. Crow, Franklin Twp., NJ, Feb. 11, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

Rough-legged Hawk and Am. Crow, Franklin Twp., NJ, Feb. 11, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The Rough-legged Hawk (RLHA) invasion of Somerset County is not limited to Duke Farms, where 6 Rough-legged Hawks were seen in the air at the same time from a roadside view early this afternoon. Chris Duffek found and photographed another RLHA at Six Mile Run in Franklin Township. This RLHA was being introduced to the local Crows.

Rough-legged Hawk and Am. Crows, Franklin Twp., NJ, Feb. 11, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)

Rough-legged Hawk and Am. Crows, Franklin Twp., NJ, Feb. 11, 2015 (photo by Chris Duffek)


A Red-breasted Merganser drake is in the Raritan River in the vicinity of Duke Island Park for the past two days (Jeff Ellerbusch, et al).


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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Rough-legged Hawks; Tuesday Bird Notes, Feb. 10, 2015

Rough-legged Hawks in Hillsborough Twp.

Rough-legged Hawk, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Feb. 10, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Rough-legged Hawk, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Feb. 10, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

9 Rough-legged Hawks were viewed at Duke Farms today, with 3 of them dark morph individuals (Jeff Ellerbusch). There are probably more at Duke Farms and in the surrounding area. Unfortunately for the public, these birds are on inaccessible sections of the property. As stated yesterday, Red-tailed Hawks are also quite numerous and other raptors are in the area as well.


Other Field Notes

Pine Siskins are reported in various locations in Morris and Somerset Counties. American Goldfinch numbers also seem to be on the rise. Other than a few scattered reports and none in the past two days, Common Redpolls are not much of a presence in north central New Jersey.


3 Redheads continue at Clyde Potts Reservoir, Mendham Twp. (Alan Boyd).


150+ Horned Larks continue on River Road, south of South Branch Rd. in Hillsborough Twp. (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


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Rough-legged Hawks++, Monday Field Notes, Feb. 9, 2015

8 (or more) Rough-legged Hawks in Hillsborough Township

Rough-legged Hawk, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Feb. 9, 2015 (ID photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Rough-legged Hawk, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Feb. 9, 2015 (ID photo by Jonathan Klizas)

How many? 7? 8? 9? At one point in the early afternoon, it seemed as though Rough-legged Hawks were on every road bordering Duke Farms in Hillsborough Township. The final total is 8 with 1 dark-morphed and 7-8 light-morphed individuals (Thom Almendinger, Jeff Ellerbusch, Frank Sencher Jr, J. Klizas), but it could easily be more.

Looking for these raptors is not advised. Some are on publicly inaccessible sections of Duke Farms; others are on busy roads. At one point there were 2-3 Rough-legged Hawks, as well as a group of Red-tailed Hawks perched in trees along New Center Road as it approaches Roycefield Road.

11 Red-tailed Hawks were also tallied along with 2 Northern Harriers and a Merlin. Quite a day in Hillsborough.

The following blurry photo is what a dark-morphed Rough-legged Hawk looks like after taking a photograph on a gray, damp day through the windshield of a Prius while stopped on New Center Road – also keeping an eye on the rear-view mirror in the hope of not getting rear-ended by a vehicle on a busy, curvy road, where cars tend to go faster than the 50 MPH speed limit. This type of bird-watching activity is not advised.

Rough-legged Hawk, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Feb. 9, 2015 (ID photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Rough-legged Hawk, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Feb. 9, 2015 (ID photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Snow Buntings in Hillsborough

Snow Buntings, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Feb. 9, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Snow Buntings, Hillsborough Twp., NJ, Feb. 9, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The above photograph shows the usually ground-dwelling Snow Buntings in an atypical setting. Found by Frank Sencher, Jr., 4 Snow Buntings were alternately on the wires, the road, the roadside, and the snow-pack. The location is the western edge of Hillsborough at the border of East Amwell in Hunterdon County.


Other Field Notes

The following blue-morph Snow Goose was on the snow with Canada Geese at Opie Road, Branchburg Twp. late this afternoon. A Killdeer was there as well.

Snow Goose, Branchburg Twp., NJ, Feb. 9, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Snow Goose, Branchburg Twp., NJ, Feb. 9, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


3 Pine Siskins continue at the feeders of Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary, Bernardsville (Joe Pescatore).


Photos by Jason Denesevich follow: Red-shoulderd Hawk at the Great Swamp NWR and Pileated Woodpecker at Glenhurst Meadows.

Red-shouldered Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 8, 2015  (photo by Jason Denesevich)

Red-shouldered Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 8, 2015 (photo by Jason Denesevich)

(Click on the photos for a larger image.)

Pileated Woodpecker, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Feb. 8, 2015 (photo by Jason Denesevich)

Pileated Woodpecker, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Feb. 8, 2015 (photo by Jason Denesevich)


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 , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vultures of Green Pond Road; Redpolls and Siskins, Feb. 8, 2015

The Vultures of Green Pond Road

Black Vulture, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Feb. 8, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Black Vulture, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Feb. 8, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The vulture roost behind the Barn Restaurant and Party City on Green Pond Road, Rockaway Twp., has been active for approximately two years according to Tom Gorman in the mocosocoBirds post from January 25. This morning, 36 Black Vultures and 27 Turkey Vultures were at the roost site at 9:10 AM. Not only do small groups roost in the trees surrounding the parking lot, they are spread out everywhere one looks: rooftops, lightposts, dumpsters, fencing. It is as if each vulture or small groups of vultures have their own roosting territory.

Turkey Vulture, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Feb. 8, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Turkey Vulture, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Feb. 8, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins on the Move

Common Redpoll, Roxbury Twp., NJ, Feb. 8, 2014 (ID record photo by J. Klizas)

Common Redpoll, Roxbury Twp., NJ, Feb. 8, 2014 (ID record photo by J. Klizas)

Various locations from the northwestern counties of New Jersey are reporting Common Redpoll and Pine Siskin numbers in the double digits today. In Morris, 3 Pine Siskins and up to 10 Common Redpolls were in Roxbury Township (Alan Boyd); 30 Pine Siskins were in a yard in Morris Township (J. Klizas) and a few miles down the Kemble Mountain ridge from there, 30 Pine Siskins were feeding in the tops of trees at Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary in Bernardsville (Kurtis Himmler via eBird); 4 Pine Siskins were in Butler (Jim Schlickenrieder via eBird).

Common Redpoll, Roxbury Twp., NJ, Feb. 8, 2014 (ID record photo by J. Klizas)

Common Redpoll, Roxbury Twp., NJ, Feb. 8, 2014 (ID record photo by J. Klizas)


Rough-legged Hawks

A light morph Rough-legged Hawk was reported from Hillsborough this morning (Thom Almendinger). In the past few days, a mini-invasion of Rough-legged Hawks has appeared in the interior of New Jersey. Since this post was published, it has come to light that two light morph Rough-legged Hawks were seen near the overlook at the Great Swamp NWR today (Ted Lurker as told to Simon Lane). Be aware that Pleasant Plains Road is closed periodically due to ice.


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

Saturday Bird Notes, Feb. 7, 2015

The light morph Rough-legged Hawk found yesterday on Pleasant Plains Rd., Great Swamp NWR, continued today at various locations along the road: from a roost viewed from the overlook to another roost northeast from the 90 degree bend in the road, and elsewhere.

Early this afternoon, a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk was reported from Island Road in Hunterdon County, flying towards Rattlesnake Road in Bedminster Twp., Somerset County (David Bernstein).


A Pine Siskin continues at the Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary feeders in Bernardsville (Tom Smith via eBird).


Horned Larks remain in a manure-spreaded field on River Road, south of South Branch Road, in Hillsborough Twp. (Chris Thomas).


Two Bridges, Lincoln Park, at the confluence of the Pompton and Passaic Rivers, had the following waterfowl: 54 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 1 American Black Duck, 52 Mallards, 23 Ring-necked Ducks, 1 Lesser Scaup drake, 12 Bufflehead, 1 Common Goldeneye hen, 14 Hooded Mergansers, 20 Common Mergansers, 1 Red-breasted Merganser hen and 1 Pied-billed Grebe (J. Klizas).


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

Rough-legged Hawk at Great Swamp NWR, Feb. 6, 2015

Rough-legged Hawk, Great Swamp NWR

Rough-legged Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 6, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Rough-legged Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 6, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

At long last, the first photo-documented Rough-legged Hawk in the mocosocoBirds territory for 2015 – Chuck Hantis found this light morph raptor on Pleasant Plains Road, Great Swamp NWR shortly after noon today. Other birders and Chuck searched later in the afternoon but were unable to relocate it. Nonetheless, this is the first Rough-legged Hawk in Morris County for 2015. One flyover reported in Bernards Twp. on January 19 is the only Rough-legged Hawk known of in Somerset County this year.

Rough-legged Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 6, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Rough-legged Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 6, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Rough-legged Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 6, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Rough-legged Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 6, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)


Waterfowl in Morris County

Alan Boyd reports the following in what little open water remains in western Morris County:

Three Redheads (1 male, 2 females) are at Clyde Potts Reservoir.

2 Common Goldeneye, 125 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Bufflehead and 1 American Coot are at the bi-county Furnace Pond in Netcong and Stanhope (Morris and Sussex counties; take your pick or take both).


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

Thursday Bird Notes, Feb. 5, 2015

This image of Great Brook and the Great Swamp NWR sums up February in Morris County:

Great Brook, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 5, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Great Brook, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 5, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Cold, snow, ice – the temperature in Fahrenheit degrees will be in the single digits by Friday morning. Feeder watching is the main birding activity at the moment. Scant numbers of Pine Siskins, in the ones and twos, are reported. Common Redpolls have yet to make an incursion into Morris and Somerset counties this year, other than two sightings at feeders in Morris; none in Somerset. Two Gray Catbirds were in a yard at Brookside (Mendham Twp.) on Feb. 2 (Kriss Replogle).

Rob Gallucci photographed the following non-passerine during the week at his bird feeder.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Somerset County, NJ, Feb. 2015 (photo by Robert Gallucci)

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Somerset County, NJ, Feb. 2015 (photo by Robert Gallucci)

Somerset County has pockets of bird activity although the rare geese of January have apparently moved on. The last known date for the Barnacle Goose is January 10; January 16 for the Greater White-fronted Goose; January 22 for the Cackling Goose. Groups of Canada Geese remain in and around the Raritan River.

Many parts of the Raritan River are open despite the frigid temperatures of late. A walk down the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath south of Demott Lane is worthwhile for waterfowl and a variety of other species. Up to 3 Bald Eagles have been seen in this area recently.

River Road south of South Branch Road in Hillsborough Township continues to be a manure-mecca with anywhere between 100-200 Horned Larks enjoying the re-repast. A Snow Bunting was with the Horned Larks last week but has not been seen since. American and Fish crows are abundant. Savannah Sparrows work the road’s edge. Hundreds of Starlings hang out in the area. Turkey and Black Vultures are usually seen floating in the sky if not partaking of the banquet. The many Rock Pigeons roosting on the power-line wires make good target practice for a pair of Peregrine Falcons seen in the vicinity. Practically every regularly occurring diurnal raptor in New Jersey made an appearance at River Road during the past week. Why not – a veritable bird buffet awaits the hungry falcons and hawks.

Gulls are noticeably absent in Hillsborough this winter. Glaucous, Iceland, Lesser Black-backed, Great Black-backed, Herring and Ring-billed Gulls are found here in recent winters near the pig farm on Homestead Road. Other than a single Ring-billed Gull now and then, there are none this year.


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 , , , , , , , | Leave a comment