Pacific Loon and other field notes, Mar. 10, 2013

Juvenile Pacific Loon in early morning light, Morris Plains, NJ, Mar. 10, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas)

Juvenile Pacific Loon in early morning light, Morris Plains, NJ, Mar. 10, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas)

The Pacific Loon of Morris Plains continues for another day. Found late yesterday by Jamie Glydon, and positively identified today, Morris County’s first Pacific Loon seems to be faring well in the confines of its small, fenced-in corporate pond, bordered by railroad tracks and office buildings on American Road. 4 female Hooded Mergansers and 5 Ring-necked Ducks find it hospitable as well. 3 Gadwall and 2 Common Mergansers were in the neighboring pond adjacent to a condo development under construction. Please be courteous, respectful and polite if visiting this location. Jamie Glydon offers an alternate vantage point:
400 The American Rd, Morris Plains, NJ 07950 – Google map link.
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There seems to be a dearth of White-throated Sparrows in Morris County recently. eBird data shows a decrease during the same period in March from last year – nothing alarming, but a noticeable drop in numbers and instances of appearance.

Troy Meadows didn’t help those numbers this morning. Other than a scattered chorus of melodious Song Sparrows, only two White-throated Sparrows were witnessed along with 5 American Tree Sparrows and one Fox Sparrow.
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Wilson’s Snipe will be more noticeable in the next few weeks. One was flushed this morning at Melanie Lane Wetlands. Click this link to view a bar graph and other data formats of the frequency and occurrence of Wilson’s Snipe in Morris County.
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Lesser Black-backed Gull, Budd Lake, NJ, Mar. 10, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Budd Lake, NJ, Mar. 10, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Two mild weekend days in March have stirred up the waterfowl and brought out the boats. While observing thousands of waterfowl at Budd Lake this afternoon, with an optimum location and perfect light, a motorized boat came ripping through the middle of the lake scattering the entire collection of birds into the sky and eventually to the least optimum viewing conditions by the bog on the west side. Aargh!!! 3,000 Canada Geese were estimated before the movement. 6 Redheads were the only identifiable Aythya species. 300 Common Mergansers were present. 400+ gulls, split between Herring and Ring-billed, were joined by two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The Glaucous Gull that was present all week was not found. Also yesterday, the previous weekend’s Iceland Gull was not found on Mt. Hope Pond.
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Red-breasted Merganser, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Mar. 10, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Red-breasted Merganser, Lake Musconetcong, NJ, Mar. 10, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Lake Musconectong was uneventful save for a drake Red-Breasted Merganser viewed from Koclas Drive.
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What happened at Lake Parsippany is anyone’s guess. Common Merganser numbers were in the 500 range through the week, peaking at 720 on March 8. Today, there were only 100. The Redheads which were present for two weeks are also gone. The Ring-necked Ducks and Lesser Scaup remain with a small number of Ruddy Ducks. There were no boats visible on the water when I was there in the afternoon. A few fisherman were casting their lines. Maybe the Common Mergansers moved to Boonton Reservoir which wasn’t checked.
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From Tim Vogel:
Morris County’s “Other Lakes

Lake Valhalla, Montville
Common Mergansers 35
Hooded Mergansers 10
Ring-necked Duck 6
Buffleheads 6

Taylortown Reservoir Boonton/Kinnelon- still some ice
Common Mergansers 25
Hooded Mergansers 15
Ring-necked Ducks 10

Cook’s Pond, Denville
Bufflehead 24

Lake Estling, Denville
Common Merganser 40
Hooded Merganser 18
Lesser Scaup 50

Cedar Lake, Denville
Ringed-neck Duck 15
Lesser Scaup 6

St. Clare’s Fields, Denville – Saturday PM
Woodcock – 6 calling and airborne at dusk from parking lot
Couldn’t get there tonight

Tim Vogel
Denville
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From Leslie Webster:
Highlights of a bird count this AM in Loantaka Brook Reservation: a vocalizing Eastern Phoebe at Kitchell Pond, a full-voice Winter Wren in the woods, and three Belted Kingfishers in a territorial dispute along the brook.

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