17 Vesper Sparrows at Duke Farm
After finding 14 Vesper Sparrows at Finderne Wetlands yesterday, Oct. 26, Jeff Ellerbusch outdid that by finding 17 Vespers at Duke Farms today. Most were in the general vicinity of the community garden. According to the eBird database and as far as is known otherwise, this is the most seen in New Jersey at one place during one day. 8 Eastern Meadowlarks and 6 White-crowned Sparrows were among the 51 species Jeff tallied.
900 Ruddy Ducks at Mt. Hope Lake
Other than Melanie Lane Wetlands, Mt. Hope Lake is the only body of water in the mocosocoBirds region with any appreciable number of waterfowl or any waterfowl at all. 900 Ruddy Ducks, a Morris county record, are spread out over the entire lake. One week ago, 175 were counted. 650 at the same location on Nov. 24, 2013 was the previous high count. The Ruddys were counted multiple times mainly because of my disbelief in there being so many. Here is today’s list:
33 Mute Swan
1 Wood Duck
3 American Wigeon
8 Northern Shoveler
12 Green-winged Teal
15 Ring-necked Duck
900 Ruddy Duck
2 Pied-billed Grebe
19 Double-crested Cormorant
21 American Coot
24 Ring-billed Gull
1 Belted Kingfisher
The Trumpeter Swan of probable captive origin and likely an escapee from the Bernardsville group, is still at the lake keeping to his/her self. It has been there since spring.
Other Field Notes
Melanie Lane Wetlands also has waterfowl in more modest numbers and some shorebirds as well. 46 Gadwall, 16 Green-winged Teal, Great Egret, 1 American Coot, 8 Killdeer, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs and 2 Rusty Blackbirds.
A Purple Finch was at a feeder in Randolph (Linda Matula).