A Red-throated Loon was found this morning at Budd Lake by Dave Harrison and seen by many others. A Bonaparte’s Gull was also present for part of the day. It was not seen in the afternoon. The Red-throated Loon was joined by a Common Loon later in the day (Jamie Glydon).
15 Red-headed Woodpeckers (RHWO) were observed at the Long Hill Wetlands (see this post). These are the same RHWOs as viewed from Glenhurst Meadows, albeit they are all entirely north of the Passaic River in Morris County. The wetlands have dried out which was the only reason I was able to travel from Main Ave. in Stirling to the power line west of where Wagner Arboretum would be on the Somerset County side – a trip of about 1.5 miles one way. I followed the course of the river on the way out which is where all of the RHWO were. Going back, I traveled a few hundred yards north, further into the woods, hoping to find another cluster or two of RHWO. I found not a one. All of the RHWO are located on the edge of the woods near the river. The woodpecker habitat at Long Hill Wetlands is exceptional. Here are the numbers from today, a clean sweep of the woodpecker species of New Jersey:
15 Red-headed Woodpeckers
20 Red-bellied Woodpeckers
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
8 Downy Woodpeckers
3 Hairy Woodpeckers
10 Northern Flickers
1 Pileated Woodpecker
A Winter Wren twitter-called and then went into two separate full phrases of song while working a fallen branch pile. Other typical species of the area were present. Other than the gravel road for the power line, there are no trails at Long Hill Wetlands. It is part of the Morris County Park Commision but functions more as a flood plain than anything else.
From Leslie Webster:
News from Loantaka Brook Reservation: an American Coot was swimming among the Mallards on Kitchell Pond this morning. Also on the pond were the continuing female Ruddy Duck, 5 Gadwalls, 3 Green-winged Teal, and 1 Canada Goose. 5 Rusty Blackbirds were feeding on the mud along the fringes of the pond. On the mud bar in the middle of the pond was a Wilson’s Snipe, which at one point was standing right next to the continuing Pectoral Sandpiper, an interesting contrast of body shapes. A group of about 10 Ring-billed Gulls milled high over the pond for a few moments, then disappeared, except for 2 individuals that actually landed, perhaps the first of the season.
From Kurtis Himmler:
There were 12 Rusty Blackbirds at Great Swamp NWR this morning, as well as several more (at least 10, possibly 20+) at Lord Stirling Park. The ones at Lord Stirling were difficult to count, as they were part of a mixed flock with Comon Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds, and several were partially concealed by the brush. Other highlights from Great Swamp included 3 Fox Sparrows, 1 American Tree Sparrow, and 8 Green-winged Teal.