Jeff Ellerbusch found the first Tringa of 2013 in the mocosocoBirds region today – a Greater Yellowlegs at Duke Farms, Hillsborough Township. This is ten days later than 2012’s first Greater Yellowlegs. Not satisfied with that discovery, Jeff also located the first two Northern Rough-winged Swallows of 2013 in mocosoco, also at Duke Farms. These arrived on the same date as in 2012.
Pacific Loon Update
As posted earlier this morning, the Pacific Loon at Boonton Reservoir continues. It was viewed from the north end from the footbridge accessed from Reservoir Drive. For a good length of time, it was in the same field of view as a Common Loon in basic plumage. Your chances are 50/50 at best at locating the Pacific Loon as there are many places a loon can hide at the reservoir. A spotting scope is required. This is the last remaining Pacific Loon of the three that visited Morris County in the past few weeks.
Scaup identification presents a challenge for most birders. The pictures below show a classic male Greater Scaup with Lesser Scaup at Budd Lake today. These are terrible photographs which is the whole point. How often do you have optimum viewing conditions when trying to separate any close species especially Greater and Lesser Scaup. Head shape and the size of the nail of the bill are key points to focus on. The Greater Scaup’s rounded head with the peak at the front is evident in the photos. Lesser Scaup’s peak is toward the back of the head. Consulting any good field guide should give adequate description of the differences in these two species. Helping out matters in the series of photos below is that the Greater Scaup is obviously larger.
From Jennifer Books:
Hi Jonathan – After two failed attempts to locate the Blue-wing Teal (a life bird for me) reported at the Friends Blind in the Great Swamp recently, today I finally got lucky thanks to another birder who had already spotted it when I arrived. He also had a spotting scope which made viewing the drake even better! We only saw the drake but he was gorgeous, especially when he started preening and you could see the colors on his wings. In addition to this bird I also saw 3 male Wood Ducks, about 19 Green-wing Teal, 2 male Pintails and 1 female, 2 pairs of American Wigeon, about 11 American Black Ducks, and a few mallards. Most were seen from the actual blind but a few appeared in the wetland area on the trail that is crossed via a bridge. So happy to have finally seen the Blue-winged Teal!
On another note, I have NOT seen the Pine Siskins today at my feeders, but I did see them the past few days. We will have to see if they have left or I just missed them.