Shorebirds and Cormorants, July 18, 2013

Lesser Yellowlegs, Melanie Lane Wetlands, Hanover, NJ, July 18, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Lesser Yellowlegs, Melanie Lane Wetlands, Hanover, NJ, July 18, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Little by little, the summer shorebird migration is entering the mocosocoBirds region. The first two Lesser Yellowlegs of the summer in Morris and Somerset Counties were seen this afternoon at Melanie Lane Wetlands. 11 Least Sandpipers and the usual 10 Killdeer were also present. The temperature was at least 97 Fahrenheit degrees.

Along path to the shorebirds, Melanie Lane Wetlands, Hanover, NJ, July 18, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Along path to the shorebirds, Melanie Lane Wetlands, Hanover, NJ, July 18, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Afternoon and early evening offer the best lighting conditions at Boonton Reservoir. Yesterday’s heat at 6:30 p.m. turned the Reservoir into a Cormorant swim club. 435 Double-crested Cormorants were counted representing a new Morris County record. The previous known record was 300 at the same location on July 15, 2012. The Cormorants were easy to count from the south end of the reservoir because most were in three sizable groups. One raft of 200 was to the west of the island; at least 100 were at the base of the island; another 135 were in a raft near the dam. 435 is a conservative number. There were other Cormorants in the trees on the island that were too difficult to see. Also, Boonton Reservoir is the Grand Central Terminal of Morris County with Cormorants constantly coming and going so getting an exact count is challenging. The highest count of the summer for Ring-billed Gulls was also tallied: 90, at least.

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