Bufflehead in Hanover Township; Jockey Hollow Breeding Bird Survey, June 3, 2012

Jamie Glydon found a female Bufflehead at Melanie Pond in Hanover Township this afternoon. There are a few records of this species for June in northern New Jersey, but in any case this one is very late for the Morris County area.

Photo by J. Glydon

A breeding bird survey took place at the southeastern most portion of Jockey Hollow National Historical Park north of Tempe Wick Road in Harding Township this morning. The Vermont Center for Ecostudies sponsors this activity in collaboration with the National Park Service. This is a point survey – 10 observation points are set up at appropriate distances from each other. The observer lists species experienced during a 10-minute period within a certain distance before moving on to the next point. Species found before and after the count period, and in travelling from one point to the next are not counted.

Jockey Hollow’s understory is completely gone. Where there is any understory vegetation at all, Japanese Barberry covers entire hillsides. Japanese Stilt-grass carpets other areas. A new field guide needs to be published concentrating on invasive plant species because they are dominant in many areas and this observer cannot find them in Newcombe’s Wildflower Guide!

As for the birds, there should be more species encountered and many more individuals counted. The highlight of the morning was at least 5 Hooded Warblers found. A Worm-eating Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeak on Mt. Kemble were a welcome find.

Here are the numbers. Remember that this is not a survey of the entire park but a sampling of species based on time and distance parameters in a small area entirely in the forest:

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 2
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 7
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 2
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens) 6
Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) 2
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) 2
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 9
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 4
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
Veery (Catharus fuscescens) 2
Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) 7
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 5
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 1
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) 8
Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum) 1
Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina) 5
Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) 5
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) 1
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 1
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) 2
And, once again for anyone keeping track, there are 149 Mute Swans on Mt. Hope Lake in Rockaway Township as of this afternoon. This is an all-time high count for this lake and for Morris County as far as is known. There are 180 Canada Geese as well.

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