Cackling Geese, Vesper Sparrow, Birds, Oct. 23, 2013

The season’s first two Cackling Geese of the mocosocoBirds region were reported this morning from Amwell Pond in Hillsborough Township. The pond is at the corner of Auten and Amwell Roads.
Diversity of species may be diminishing but individual numbers of some species are rising. While a Vesper Sparrow was a highlight of the late afternoon at Patriots Path off of South Beverwyck Road in Troy Meadows, it was the sheer numbers of some species that was an attention-getter. As sunset passed, a conservative 3,000 Common Grackles came to roost in the marsh. 500+ American Robins passed overhead. Smaller numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds flew by while an underestimated number of 1,000++ European Starlings roosted, single file, on the many high-tension towers. Klinger Road in the eastern section of Troy Meadows had well over 100 White-throated Sparrows in a small section of vegetation and woods. 200 Brown-headed Cowbirds foraged on a corporate lawn on Troy Road.

Vesper Sparrow, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 23, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas)

Vesper Sparrow, Troy Meadows, NJ, Oct. 23, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas)

NOTE: the eastern area of Troy Meadows is currently overrun with workers and vehicles involved with the Susquehanna-Roseland Project. New high-tension poles are being erected. The capped-off and fenced-in area area of Sharky’s dump on Ridgedale Avenue and the old Hanover airport grounds (an excellent birding area) are currently used as staging areas for the construction. Helicopters are a daily sight over the marsh. It is not known how the resident Bald Eagles are taking all of this as the power line work area is literally next to their nest site.

Other Field Notes

From Julie Buechner:
An American Coot showed up today at Melanie Lane Wetlands. Lots of ducks too including Pintails, Green-winged Teal, Wood Ducks, and Gadwalls. A Great Egret is still there as well as 5 Killdeer and a Lesser Yellowlegs.

From Ken Hart, Oct. 22:
Had a Blue-headed Vireo in the woods behind my house on Black River Rd. in Long Valley this afternoon (Oct. 22), mixed in with a flock of both Kinglet species.

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