Bonaparte’s Gulls continue in the Raritan; House Wren returns, April 13, 2012

The Bonaparte’s Gulls (BOGU) continue to stage in the Raritan River and are viewable from the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath in Franklin Township, Somerset County. Some were visible today from the base of the I-287 Bridge near exit 10 (Easton Ave.). Walking approximately one mile south on the towpath to a gas pipeline crossing the river gave one the view depicted in the pictures below. There were 85 BOGUs at this spot. Since the towpath is four miles long from the I-287 Bridge to Landing Lane, most of the BOGUs were probably south of this spot meaning that the full contingent of over 300 gulls found yesterday are still present.

Bonaparte’s Gulls in the Raritan River, one mile south of the I-287 bridge by exit 10.

(Photos by J. Klizas)

Considering the numbers of Bonaparte’s Gulls in the Raritan and also Spruce Run in Hunterdon County, a trip was made to survey Morris County lakes in search of BOGUs. None were found. Budd Lake had 2 Common Loons and a Horned Grebe. Lake Musconetcong had 2 Lesser Scaup, 2 Ring-Necked Ducks, Ruddy Ducks and lots of Double-crested Cormorants. Mt. Hope Lake has Mute Swans and more Mute Swans. Splitrock Reservoir had a rowboat on it and nothing else.

Migration has been light this week because of constant northerly-flavored winds. Birds migrate nonetheless. A case in point is a slightly early House Wren singing loudly in Washington Valley in Morris Township this morning. This is the first record of this species in 2012 in either Morris or Somerset Counties. Scant Palm and Pine Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are being reported. Sunday morning holds the promise of the bird spigots opening up as southwest winds finally visit our region.

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