A Horned Lark was found today near the Selody Sod Farm in Montgomery Township (Jeff Ellerbusch). This is an interesting sighting for both the date and the location. The NJ Breeding Bird Atlas of the 90’s has probable breeding blocks for Horned Lark in the Branchburg-Bedminster area as the only locations for Somerset County (there are none for Morris or any where else in north Jersey except the Walkill River Valley in Sussex County and a few possible locations in Warren County). Horned Lark became a local breeder by this time in New Jersey due to decreasing short grass habitat. eBird has only two Somerset County records in Somerset County for June-July (one of them is from today). Does anyone know of breeding records for Somerset County of Horned Lark from the NJ Audubon directed Grassland Bird Survey? North American Breeding Bird records from Patuxent are time consuming to get at but a quick glance at some frequency maps shows that they are absent from Somerset County.
From Tim Vogel, June 9, 2013:
The Tourne – sparrow fields – highlight
Black-billed Cuckoo – 1 calling continuously at 7:30 am