327 Bonaparte’s Gulls in Somerset County, April 11, 2012

Yesterday on JerseyBirds Mike Gochfield posted a report of 100-150 Bonaparte’s Gulls on the Raritan River in Piscataway in Middlesex County. Mike remarked: “I don’t recall seeing Bonaparte’s Gulls this far upriver before.”

Jeff Ellerbusch took it one step further today tallying 327 Bonaparte’s Gulls on the Raritan River while walking along the section of the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath that lies in Franklin Township, Somerset County. This remarkable total is also the first documentation known for this species in Somerset County. This becomes species number 286 on the List of the Birds of Somerset County. (Steve Byland sent me a record for White-winged Scoter from 1996 which is number 285).

Also the first Chimney Swifts of 2012 for Somerset County were also witnessed.

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2 Responses to 327 Bonaparte’s Gulls in Somerset County, April 11, 2012

  1. Jim Mulvey says:

    I was in the Piscataway area myself today and followed up on Mike’s post earlier to see if I could find the Bonaparte Gulls. I didn’t find any south of Landing Lane Bridge, but did find 60 just north of it around 1:00 this afternoon. This group seemed to be in a pattern of swimming up stream for a couple of hundred yards and them flying back to their original spot to start over, so it is quite possible that these are birds in addition to Jeff’s sighting

  2. Jeff Ellerbusch says:

    Hey Jim,

    When i arrived this afternoon there were 64 BOGU on the river north of Landing Ln bridge, probably the birds you had. I didn’t initially count them as they were slightly south of the southern limit of the Somerset County border on the river, plus they were towards the Middlesex County bank (if splitting the river down the middle). Once passed them, while walking up river on the towpath, a group of 40+, can’t remember the number, flew past me heading north- this was probably part of that group (i did count these as Somerset birds). On the walk back down towards Landing Ln there were about two dozen feeding north of Landing Ln…again slightly south of Somerset County.


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