Sandhill Cranes and other birds – Nov. 24, 2016

Sandhill Cranes in Franklin Township

Sandhill Cranes, Franklin Twp., NJ, Nov. 24, 2016 (photo by Michael Yuan)

Sandhill Cranes, Franklin Twp., NJ, Nov. 24, 2016 (photo by Michael Yuan)

The anticipation begins in early November as birders and naturalists of many disciplines await the annual appearance of the Sandhill Cranes in Franklin Township.

There is no guarantee that the cranes will be in view when one visits the area, certainly adding to their allure. A favored location for the cranes and an easy access for birders are the agricultural fields along Randolph Road, Franklin Township. Soybeans were planted there last year. Sandhill Cranes do not give a hoot for soybeans. This made finding the cranes challenging.

However, in 2016 corn was again grown at Randolph Road and on November 17, Jeff Ellerbusch found four returning cranes there – the tenth successive known year that they have wintered in this area.

On November 21, David Bernstein saw an amazing 15 Sandhill Cranes in two flocks fly northwest of the canal across Weston Canal Road where they are difficult, if not impossible, to see.

[FYI: avoid the area north and west of the canal opposite Randolph Road. It is a highly toxic superfund site. See a description here, and a map here.]

Today, Nov. 24, Mike Yuan found six of the Sandhill Cranes at another favored and accessible location in the cornfields near the intersection of Mettlers and Weston Roads. During the past ten years, Sandhill Cranes have been seen at various cornfields in Franklin Township and neighboring Hillsborough Township.  They are not guaranteed to be seen, but are in the area…somewhere.


Other Birds

Common Raven, Timberbrook Lake, Morris Co., NJ, Nov. 24, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Common Raven, Timberbrook Lake, Morris Co., NJ, Nov. 24, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A brief walk along the west shore of Timberbrook Lake in Rockaway Twp., produced a Winter Wren, an immature Bald Eagle, and a Common Raven occasionally chasing American Crows. Upon exiting the trail, seven (7!) ATVs and eleven (11!) dirt bikes led by an adult in an ATV (at least it was a man of approximately middle age. Perhaps adult is the wrong description) started cruising down the trail. This trail leads to the Four Birds Trail and other paths that course through Farny State Park and the Newark Watershed.

Not-so-Easy-Riders on the trail at Timberbrook Lake, NJ, Nov. 24, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Not-so-Easy-Riders on the trail at Timberbrook Lake, NJ, Nov. 24, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Common Raven, Timberbrook Lake, Morris Co., NJ, Nov. 24, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Common Raven, Timberbrook Lake, Morris Co., NJ, Nov. 24, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Cackling Geese reports from Somerset County are coming in as wintering Canada Geese flocks arrive en masse into the county.

This eBird reviewer appreciates photos, if possible, or, lacking photos, definitive descriptions of Cackling Geese. Comments such as, “small goose with small bill” do not work. Equally inconclusive are flight identifications. Seeing a small goose with a flock of Canada Geese does not warrant identifying it as a Cackling Goose. Many odd geese are around and unless a 100% positive identification can be documented, listing a bird as goose sp. is perfectly acceptable and better science as well.

Please be precise and treat eBird in a conscientious, professional manner rather than as a casual bird listing tool.


Proving the worth of carrying a camera and having golden ears, Jeff Ellerbusch caught the following Lapland Longspur in a flight photograph and in sound by hearing its rattle call in Bridgewater this past week.

Lapland Longspur, Somerset Co., NJ, Nov. 20, 2016 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Lapland Longspur, Somerset Co., NJ, Nov. 20, 2016 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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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Red Crossbills, other birds – Nov. 15, 2016

Red Crossbills in Morris County

Red Crossbills, Morris County, NJ, Nov. 14, 2016 (photo by Silas Hernandez)

Red Crossbills, Morris County, NJ, Nov. 14, 2016 (photo by Silas Hernandez)

(Click on the photos for larger images.)

As many as nine Red Crossbills were found two consecutive days, Nov. 13-14, at the old Hewlett-Packard property, formerly the Boonton Radio Company (see a history blurb here), and currently Christ Church, at Green Pond and Meridan Road, Rockaway (Silas Hernandez, photos). This private property straddles Rockaway and Denville Townships in Morris County .

Do not think of visiting the location as you will be asked to leave, if you can get in.

However, Jonathan’s Woods, a Morris County park, borders the property and is very accessible from Old Beech Glen Road. A few pines remain of the so-called Cathedral Pines that formerly graced Jonathan’s Woods. Most of these trees were wiped out during superstorm Sandy (see a post from that time here) and the fallen trunks removed a few years later.

As far as is known, the Red Crossbills were not observed today despite observers searching for them.


Snow Bunting at Glenhurst Meadows

Snow Bunting, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Nov. 14, 2016 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Snow Bunting, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Nov. 14, 2016 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Mike Hiotis located a Snow Bunting at the community garden parking lot of Wagner’s Arboretum, Glenhurst Meadows, Nov. 14. The bunting was present this morning (David Bernstein). A Snow Bunting was also photographed by a non-eBirder at this location on November 8.


Spackling Goose, R.I.P.

Spackling Goose at Duke Farms, Jan. 29, 2013 (photo by Jim Mulvey).

Spackling Goose at Duke Farms, Jan. 29, 2013 (photo by Jim Mulvey).

It is brought to mocosocoBirds attention that the famed Spackling Goose of Somerset County was hunted and killed recently, most likely in Hillsborough Twp. Birders will miss this beloved goose who made an appearance each fall and winter in Somerset County since at least 2012 and probably much longer than that.

An older post on the history of the goose is here.

The Greater White-Fronted Goose and the Spackling Goose at Duke Island Park, Jan. 2, 2013 (Photo by Zach Batren).

The Greater White-Fronted Goose and the Spackling Goose at Duke Island Park, Jan. 2, 2013 (Photo by Zach Batren).


Other birds

Most of the Red-headed Woodpeckers (RHWO) reported from Glenhurst Meadows are actually north of the Passaic River in Morris County. A walk at the Long Hill Wetlands last Sunday produced nine RHWOs.

With the 12+ RHWOs at Troy Meadows, a few at the Lord Stirling Park/Great Swamp NWR border and the RHWOs at Long Hill Wetlands and Glenhurst Meadows, the mocosocoBirds region is easily  the Red-headed Woodpecker capital of New Jersey.

Below is a Red-headed Woodpecker with an acorn stash at the Long Hill Wetlands. Be aware that the Long Hill Wetlands, while being part of the Morris County Parks System according to the placards on trees, has no trails, poison ivy is abundant in summer and it floods very easily and frequently.

Red-headed Woodpecker, Long Hill Twp., NJ, Nov. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Red-headed Woodpecker, Long Hill Twp., NJ, Nov. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Photos

Fox Sparrow, Long Hill Twp., NJ, Nov. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Fox Sparrow, Long Hill Twp., NJ, Nov. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Supermoon, Morris Twp., NJ, Nov. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Supermoon, Morris Twp., NJ, Nov. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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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Orange-crowned Warbler, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Great Cormorant – Nov. 11, 2016

Orange-crowned Warbler and Red-headed Woodpeckers

An Orange-crowned Warbler found Nov. 10 at Troy Meadows by Roger Johnson put in a brief five second appearance again this morning (Rob Fanning). Anyone wishing to try for this western wanderer should park at the lot marked South Beverwyck Road on the map.

From the parking lot, continue on the wide, mowed Patriots Path to the gas line, turn right on Patriots Path crossing the gas line and eventually going underneath the power line staying on the wide, mowed Patriots Path the entire time (there are many narrower, overgrown secondary paths in the area).

After traveling under the power line you will walk through small trees, bushes and scrub. At one point you will come to the peak of the hill where Patriots Path enters a wooded area. Just before the woods, another path intersects with Patriots Path. Turn left on this other path and continue until you see – yes, here it is: The Blue Pipe.

The Blue Pipe, Troy Meadows, NJ, Nov. 10, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas))

The Blue Pipe, Troy Meadows, NJ, Nov. 10, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas))

The Orange Crowned Warbler has been seen at this location for two successive mornings, albeit briefly.

Red-headed Woodpecker, Troy Meadows, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 (photo by jonathan Klizas)

Red-headed Woodpecker, Troy Meadows, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 (photo by jonathan Klizas)

Also at Troy Meadows are Red-headed Woodpeckers – lots of Red-headed Woodpeckers. In the section of the woods accessed via Alan Drive are approximately 12 Red-headed Woodpeckers (RHWO). This does not account for any other RHWOs that are elsewhere at Troy Meadows.

Red-headed Woodpecker, Troy Meadows, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 (photo by jonathan Klizas)

Red-headed Woodpecker, Troy Meadows, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 (photo by jonathan Klizas)


Boonton Reservoir

Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Nov. 10, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Nov. 10, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The above photo is a view from the footbridge at the north end of Boonton Reservoir looking west towards the Rt. 202 bridge where the Cliff Swallows nest in spring and summer. The dark water mark on the bridge piling is where the typical level is for the reservoir when it is filled to capacity. As one can see, the water level is quite low. In the background is where the Rockaway River feeds into the reservoir. This area is usually filled with water. Increasingly large areas of exposed edge and rocky shoals throughout the reservoir are becoming visible.

Even with the low and diminishing water level, a Common Loon and Horned Grebe were found at the reservoir yesterday, Nov. 10.


Great Cormorant at Lake Parsippany

Great Cormorant, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Great Cormorant, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Yet another Great Cormorant was found in Morris County today by Julie (Buechner) Stroffolino, this time at Lake Parsippany. This is the third record this season of this relatively rare species for Morris County.

Is it the same individual that was found at Jefferson Road Pond on October 19 and stayed for one more day? Or the cormorant that spent nearly two weeks at Lake Musconetcong from Oct. 25 through November 6 (photo here)?

All three sightings are of a juvenile and the dates never overlap, so…

Great Cormorant, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Great Cormorant, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Incidentally, to anyone looking for the Great Cormorant, do not confuse it with the smaller, immature Double-crested Cormorant which is also at Lake Parsippany.

Double-crested Cormorant, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Double-crested Cormorant, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Nov. 11, 2016 photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Red-headed Woodpeckers at Glenhurst Meadows

Not to be forgotten, Somerset County’s Red-headed Woodpecker hotspot has an update provided by Mike Hiotis from Nov. 7:

“I “saw” 6 Red-headed Woodpeckers (3 ad., 3 imm.) at Glenhurst Meadows 11/7/16. At least one more bird was heard while viewing an adult. Also had 3 Deer Ticks tag along with me so check oneself when walking here.”



View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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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Grebes in Morris County; Early November Birds – Nov. 7, 2016

New Species for Somerset County

Sometimes they come in bunches. October 26 saw the first Surf Scoter recorded in Somerset County. Following close to that sighting was the county’s first recorded Long-billed Dowitcher on November 1. Jeff Ellerbusch is guilty as charged in finding both of these firsts.

The Long-billed Dowitcher finding is especially impressive as it was a flyover, identified by its distinctive call. It has not been relocated since. The area both of these birds were found in is off-limits to the general public.


Eared Grebe in Morris County

Eared Grebe, Mt. Hope Lake, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Nov. 1, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Eared Grebe, Mt. Hope Lake, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Nov. 1, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

A grebe was seen and photographed on Nov. 1 at Mt. Hope Lake in Rockaway Twp. (labeled Mill Pond on Google Maps). After consulting with experienced observers, it is positively identified as an Eared Grebe. If accepted by the New Jersey Bird Record Committee, this will be the first record of this species in Morris County.

The grebe was last seen on Saturday, Nov. 5. The grebe was not seen Nov. 6 and 7 despite several people searching. This sighting was not publicized through usual social media channels due to the private nature of the viewing property.


Red-necked Grebe, Snow Buntings at Budd Lake

Red-necked Grebe, Budd Lake, NJ, Nov. 7, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Red-necked Grebe, Budd Lake, NJ, Nov. 7, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Alan Boyd found the Red-necked Grebe in the above photo this afternoon in the southeast section of Budd Lake. This is across from the CVS store on Rt. 46. By late afternoon it had drifted slightly north-west towards the center of the lake. At this time it was viewable via scope only from the municipal beach at the south end of the lake (or south-west end, if you prefer).

Also at the south end was the annual November appearance of Snow Buntings at the Budd Lake Municipal Beach. Snow Buntings are an unusual sighting in both Morris and Somerset Counties with only a handful of historical records. For the past three years, Snow Buntings have been found at the beach on the following dates, in numbers never greater than three:

  • 2014 – Nov. 4 through 8.
  • 2015 – Nov. 14.
  • 2016 – Nov. 7.
Snow Buntings, Budd Lake, NJ, Nov. 7, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Snow Buntings, Budd Lake, NJ, Nov. 7, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Other Bird Notes

Ben Barkley looked up at the right time on Saturday, Nov. 5 as a Northern Goshawk passed overhead. Ben was fortunate to get photos documenting the moment.

Northern Goshawk, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, Nov. 5, 2016 (photo by Ben Barkley)

Northern Goshawk, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, Nov. 5, 2016 (photo by Ben Barkley)


The Great Cormorant of Lake Musconetcong has apparently departed as it was not seen today for the first time since Oct. 25.

Great Cormorant, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Nov. 5, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Great Cormorant, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Nov. 5, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Great Cormorant, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Nov. 5, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Great Cormorant, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Nov. 5, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Ivan Kossak informs mocosocoBirds that the Great Lincoln Park Bird Count is up to 150 species for 2016 with the sighting of Rusty Blackbirds on Nov. 2 at Beavertown Park. Lincoln Park was formerly known as Beavertown.


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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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Birds of Late October – October 29, 2016

Purple Finch Rant.

Purple Finches, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Purple Finches, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

A few waves of migration during the past week deposited lots of White-throated Sparrows, Purple Finches, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrushes, Dark-eyed Juncos, Yellow-rumped Warblers, etc. into the Morris and Somerset County area.

Lincoln’s and White-crowned Sparrows continue at the southern section of Troy Meadows along with numerous White-throated, Savannah, Song, Field and Swamp Sparrows as well as Dark-eyed Juncos and Fox Sparrows. The Clay-colored Sparrow of Oct. 26 was not relocated on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Red-headed Woodpeckers are in the area of Troy Meadows Road and probably elsewhere.

Purple Finch, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Purple Finch, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


American Pipit, Florham Park, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

American Pipit, Florham Park, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Approximately 20 American Pipits continue at Florham Park Fields where they have been since at least October 15.

Savannah Sparrow, Florham Park, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Savannah Sparrow, Florham Park, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Great Cormorant, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Great Cormorant, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Oct. 29, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

The Great Cormorant of Lake Musconetcong is seen daily since its initial finding on Oct. 25. Nearby Budd Lake and Lake Hopatcong await the arrival of waterfowl.


An Orange-crowned Warbler was found at Esox Meadow, Lord Stirling Park on Oct. 28 (Ben Barkley). This is practically the same location an Orange-crowned Warbler was photographed on Oct. 21.

A Red-headed Woodpecker was at Lord Stirling Park today, heard from the East Observation Tower meaning it was probably in the Great Swamp NWR (Chris Thomas).



View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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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Clay-colored Sparrow, Northern Shrike, Surf Scoter, others – Oct. 26, 2016

Clay-colored Sparrow at Troy Meadows

Clay-colored Sparrow, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 26, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Clay-colored Sparrow, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 26, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A Clay-colored Sparrow was found by Rob Fanning this morning at Troy Meadows. The sparrow continued into the afternoon keeping company with a group of Savannah Sparrows. This is the second known record for Troy Meadows.

The location of the Clay-colored Sparrow is from the South Beverwyck Road item mentioned on the hyperlinked map, here. Take Patriots Path from the parking lot. The accommodating sparrow was at the right angle turn at the overgrown gas line. Numerous Savannah, Song and White-throated Sparrows are also in the area.

Rob also found an Eastern Meadowlark further south by the power line.


Surf Scoter in Somerset County – 1st County Record

Jeff Ellerbusch found the first Somerset County record of Surf Scoter this afternoon. This is not a chase-able bird as the location is in a restricted, private area that is best to avoid unless you have permission to be there (the finder of the scoter does). In any case, congratulations to Jeff for finding this species in Somerset County.


Northern Shrike, No. Goshawks, Golden Eagles and Yellow-headed Blackbird at Chimney Rock

Northern Shrike, Chimney Rock, Martinsville, NJ, Oct. 26, 2016 (photo by Roger Dreyling)

Northern Shrike, Chimney Rock, Martinsville, NJ, Oct. 26, 2016 (photo by Roger Dreyling)

A remarkable day at the Chimney Rock Hawk Watch as all of the species mentioned in the title of this section were seen. Equally noteworthy is that two Northern Goshawks were tallied, as well as two Golden Eagles.

mocosocoBirds has little information about the No. Shrike except that it was photographed and positively identified. The shrike was apparently perched in the parking lot but did not stay. The Yellow-headed Blackbird was a flyby at the hawk watch.


Great Cormorant at Lake Musconetcong

Great Cormorant, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Oct. 25, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Great Cormorant, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Oct. 25, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Morris County may have one Great Cormorant sighting reported in a calendar year, if at all. One was found at Jefferson Rd. Pond, Parsippany on October 19 but was gone by Oct. 20.

Another Great Cormorant was found at Lake Musconetcong, yesterday Oct. 25 by Ray Duffy. It is not reported today as of the time of this writing.

Along with the Great Cormorant that has been in Somerset County for most of the past month, this is an unusually busy season for this species in the mocosocoBirds area.


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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 Chimney Rock Hawkwatch, Morris County, Somerset County | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yellow-throated and Orange-crowned Warblers – Oct. 21, 2016

Yellow-throated Warbler at Glenhurst Meadows

Yellow-throated Warbler, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Oct. 21, 2016 (documentation photo by Jason Denesevich)

Yellow-throated Warbler, Glenhurst Meadows, NJ, Oct. 21, 2016 (documentation photo by Jason Denesevich)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The photo above is for documentation purposes only. The finder and photographer, Jason Denesevich, did his best to get a visual record of a distant subject in poor light – but what a subject!

This is the only October 2016 record of this species northeast of Delaware in the North American continent other than a lone record of one on Seal Island off the Nova Scotia coast on Oct. 7 according to the eBird database. The previous last known sighting in New Jersey for 2016 was Sept. 25 in Mercer County.

That rates an impressive wow factor for this sighting!

Below is a screen shot of the eBird range map for Yellow-throated Warbler using the time parameter of October, 2016:

Yellow-throated Warbler - October 2016 (eBird range map)

Yellow-throated Warbler – October 2016 (eBird range map)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)


Orange-crowned Warbler at Lord Stirling Park

Orange-crowned Warbler, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, Oct. 20, 2016 (photo by Jason Denesevich).

Orange-crowned Warbler, Lord Stirling Park, NJ, Oct. 20, 2016 (photo by Jason Denesevich).

If not for the Yellow-throated Warbler found today at Glenhurst Meadows, the Orange-crowned Warbler found and photographed yesterday, Oct. 20, by Jason Denesevich at Lord Stirling Park would get top billing in today’s post. In any case, bravo to Jason for two superb sightings in Somerset County two days in a row.

The Orange-crowned Warbler was in the field near Esox Pond. This is the only record of this species in Morris or Somerset Counties in 2016.

The Orange-crowned Warbler was not relocated today but Ben Barkley, staff naturalist at the park, located a tantalizing wren which he felt fit the description of a Sedge Wren. The skulking bird was not seen or heard again leaving it shy of an indisputable identification and is listed in the eBird database as Wren sp. with comments.


Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Hopatcong

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Oct. 20, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Oct. 20, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Alan Boyd found the first Lesser Black-backed Gull of the autumn-winter season in Morris County yesterday, Oct. 21. The gull was on the dock of the Jefferson House restaurant at Nolans Point, Lake Hopatcong.


Other birds

The birds featured in the previous post from Oct. 19 have not been seen since (see that post here). This includes the Eurasian Wigeon and Brant at Lake Musconetcong and the Great Cormorant at Jefferson Road Pond, Parsippany.


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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

Eurasian Wigeon, Brant, Great Cormorant – Oct. 19, 2016

Eurasian Wigeon (in center), Lk. Musconetcong, NJ, Oct. 19, 2016 (documentation photo by Alan Boyd)

Eurasian Wigeon (in center), Lk. Musconetcong, NJ, Oct. 19, 2016 (documentation photo by Alan Boyd)

A Eurasian Wigeon was found at Lake Musconetcong by Alan Boyd today. The handsome drake kept company with American Wigeons and Gadwall (see photo above). The ducks frequently lifted off the water, endlessly circling before landing and then repeating the process. The Eurasian Wigeon was easily detected in flight by its reddish head coloration. The ducks are visible from the Koclas Drive area.

This is the first Eurasian Wigeon in Morris County since 2010 at Mt. Hope Lake. This is the fifth occurrence of this species at Lake Musconetcong since the 1990s and the first since 1998.

While searching for the Eurasian Wigeon, and successfully finding it, Ray Duffy spotted a Brant which is a relatively rare species for Morris County.

Brant, Lk. Musconetcong, NJ, Oct. 19, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Brant, Lk. Musconetcong, NJ, Oct. 19, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Rob Fanning found a Great Cormorant at Jefferson Road Pond, Parsippany today. The cormorant remained at the north end of the pond late into the afternoon. This is the second time a Great Cormorant has shown up at this remarkable location since 2013.

Great and Double-crested Cormorants, Parsippany, NJ, Oct. 19, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Great and Double-crested Cormorants, Parsippany, NJ, Oct. 19, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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Mid-October Birds – Oct. 16, 2016

Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird, Lincoln Park Gravel Pits, NJ, Oct. 16, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Rusty Blackbird, Lincoln Park Gravel Pits, NJ, Oct. 16, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Rusty Blackbirds are making their presence known in north New Jersey during the past week, especially after the big migration push of Friday night, Oct. 14 into 15.

Rusty Blackbirds are reported from Glenhurst Meadows on Oct. 8, Loantaka Brook Reservation and Lord Stirling Park on Oct. 10, and since yesterday, Oct. 15, at Lord Stirling Park, Great Swamp NWR, Glenhurst Meadows, Lincoln Park Gravel PitsTroy Meadows, etc.


American Pipit

American Pipit, Florham Park, NJ, Oct. 16, 2016 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

American Pipit, Florham Park, NJ, Oct. 16, 2016 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

American Pipits are also visiting Morris and Somerset Counties in the past week with sightings from Florham Park Fields, Troy Meadows, Great Swamp NWR, Glenhurst Meadows, Lord Stirling Park and elsewhere.


Melanie Lane Wetlands

Local Morris County birders familiar with the Melanie Lane Wetlands (or Melanie Lane Pond as some prefer), were dismayed this past spring when the access on Rt. 10 was blocked by a chain-link gate due to the sudden closure of the Affinity Fitness business. The Melanie Lane access on the north side is completely obliterated by the continued expansion of the training complex of a professional soccer team.

It was noticed this week that the chain-link gate is no longer attached. Access is available via Rt. 10 again, at least temporarily. Unfortunately, the Woodchuck hole viewing area is completely inundated with and the viewing obstructed by phragmites except for a narrow cut area created by a certain local resident, excellent photographer, contributor to mocosocoBirds image gallery and long-time aficionado of Melanie Lane Wetlands (nice work, Chuck!). An unnamed blog writer may invest in a machete to further expand the viewing space.

Nonetheless, even with limited viewing, the following waterfowl were observed Saturday, Oct. 15: 8 Gadwall, 1 American Black Duck, 2 Northern Shovelers, 4 Northern Pintail, 55 Green-winged Teal as well as a Great Egret and 5 Killdeer. This little overflow of the Whippany River continues to attract wildlife regardless of the encroachment of human development. Whippany and Hanover Township continue to prove they have little respect for open space.


Other Birds

The Friday night migration that was visible Saturday morning was most noticeable with the influx of White-throated Swamp and Savannah Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers (they are everywhere, right now). Red-winged Blackbird and American Robin numbers also increased. Species such as Rusty Balckbird, American Pipit and singles of late occurring warblers were also observed Saturday. An increase in both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets was noticeable as well.

Sharp-eared Jeff Ellerbusch tallied 48 Purple Finches as they flew overhead in mostly single file at Glenhurst Meadows on Saturday. At dawn, Jeff heard a Dunlin flyover calling in the area of the community garden parking lot at Wagner’s Arboretum (considered part of Glenhurst Meadows). As far as is known, this is the first Dunlin recorded at Glenhurst. White-crowned, Vesper, Lincoln’s and the usual number of Song, Swamp and Savannah Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos were observed.

Multiple Red-headed Woodpeckers continue at Glenhurst Meadows and Troy Meadows.

And the following species will be at your feeder sooner or later this year. Thanks to Chuck Hantis for the excellent photos.

Red-breasted Nuthatch, East Hanover, NJ, Oct. 16, 2016 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Red-breasted Nuthatch, East Hanover, NJ, Oct. 16, 2016 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Red-breasted Nuthatch, East Hanover, NJ, Oct. 16, 2016 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Red-breasted Nuthatch, East Hanover, NJ, Oct. 16, 2016 (photo by Chuck Hantis)


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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Connecticut Warbler in Lincoln Park, Other Bird News – Oct. 12, 2016

Morris County’s second Connecticut Warbler of 2016 was found today by Ivan Kossak in the woods at Two Bridges, Lincoln Park. Ivan added five species to the Lincoln Park town totals that he is keeping track of on the The Great Lincoln Park Bird Count Facebook page. The link for that page is here. So far, the town total stands at 149.


Other Birds

White-crowned Sparrow, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 12, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

White-crowned Sparrow, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 12, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The south end of Troy Meadows accessed by South Beverwyck Rd. on the Patriots Path trail system, and whatever bushwhacking the observer wishes to endure, is an excellent autumn location for sparrows and other seasonal species. Nothing extraordinary was seen this morning but pairs of Lincoln and immature White-crowned Sparrows are a welcome sight. Otherwise, the area inundated with Song, Swamp, Field, Savannah and White-throated Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, etc.

Vesper Sparrows will appear in the next week or two. According to this writer’s records, the average date for Vesper Sparrows at Troy Meadows are the third and fourth weeks of October.

Vesper Sparrows are reported from Duke Farms since Oct. 8 and 11. Two were seen at Loantaka Brook Reservation this morning (Leslie Webster).


Scorched Birds in the Meadowlands

newspap-feathers (Thanks to Chris Takacs for sending the above photo).

Out of county, but an important story nonetheless, read the “Unseen threat to birds” article in the Bergen Record eViewer, here. You may need to search for the article as a specific link for it is not given.

A dedicated group of birders and the Bergen Audubon Society have brought public attention to the burning of bird feathers due to an invisible flame used to burn off methane at the Kingsland Landfill in the Meadowlands. The story is on CBS News, the Herald News and will be in the Star Ledger tomorrow. Facebook has numerous accounts of this story on various group pages. Thanks to all who helped publicize this issue. Yes, you can make a difference.


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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