Barn Swallow in Somerset Co.; Field Notes, Mar. 31, 2013

Barn Swallow in Somerset County

The first Barn Swallow of 2013 in the mocosocoBirds regon was reported from the Delaware and Raritan Towpath today (Jeff Ellerbusch). Bonaparte’s Gulls are reported in Middlesex County just south of Somerset County so expect a report of them in Franklin Township soon.

Field Notes

A male and female Blue-winged Teal continue this evening at Kitchell Lake at Loantaka Brook Reservation.

From Leslie Webster:
Tree Swallows have made it to Kitchell Pond in Loantaka Brook Reservation! Wood Ducks are checking out tree cavities in the woods, where the Brown-headed Cowbirds are also establishing themselves. At Kitchell Pond, there were no Ring-billed Gulls for the first time since the winter, but I spotted the two Blue-winged Teal, along with a Gadwall pair, 7 Green-winged Teal, and a female Hooded Merganser. Also in a “BC Chickadee” confirmation, discovered it was a Golden-Crowned Kinglet. Ring-necked Ducks continue in the farm pond across Loantaka from the LBR parking lot.

From Larry Baum:
Over the last couple of days I’ve seen a Swamp Sparrow twice (have numerous, close photos) and heard a Great Horned Owl once, both near the Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area of Rockaway Township.

Over the same period I also saw a Fox Sparrow at Mt. Hope Pond and heard a Common Raven calling from the Green Pond cliffs just before Green Pond Road hits Route 23 as well as saw a Great Blue Heron in the swamp below.

Tremendous numbers of Ring-necked Ducks were seen on many local ponds with the highest numbers at the Lake Denmark side pond and the Wildcat Ridge Beaver Pond. (For whatever reason, as fairly typical, none at Splitrock Reservoir or the Jacobs Road Beaver Pond.) Smaller numbers of Buffleheads, Double-crested Cormorants (18 at Mt. Hope Pond), Hooded and Common Mergansers and a single Gadwall were found in various ponds in the region.

Only a single White-throated Sparrow so far instead of the usual many.

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