Morris Lakes; Field Notes, Dec. 31, 2013

Lake Hopatcong is nearing the 100% frozen solid condition. Small patches of the remaining open water contain concentrations of waterfowl. Here are the numbers:
Canada Goose – 150
Mute Swan – 61
Tundra Swan – 5, (4 adults, 1 juvenile)
Mallard – 92
Ring-necked Duck – 61, mostly at Bertrand’s Island
Lesser Scaup – 7
Bufflehead – 55
Common Goldeneye – 1 drake
Hooded Merganser – 56
Common Merganser – 134
Ruddy Duck -10
Ring-billed Gull – 65
Herring Gull – 263

The 5 Tundra Swans barely fit in the tiny patch of open water they were resting in at Nolan’s Point (there really are 5 – all lifted their heads prior to this photo, showing off their Tundra Swan ID features).

Tundra Swans at rest, Lake Hpatcong, NJ, Dec. 31, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Tundra Swans at rest, Lake Hpatcong, NJ, Dec. 31, 2013 (photo by Jonathan Klizas).

Two of the resident adult Bald Eagles roosting on Bertrand’s Island.

Bald Eagles at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Dec. 31, 2013 (photo by J. Klizas).

Bald Eagles at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Dec. 31, 2013 (photo by J. Klizas).

This is what is under the Eagle tree.

Waterfowl at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Dec. 31, 2013 (photo by J. Klizas).

Waterfowl at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Dec. 31, 2013 (photo by J. Klizas).

Lake Parsippany is mostly frozen with gulls, geese, Mallards and a pair of Buffleheads.

Lake Musconetcong is mostly frozen with Mute Swans, gulls and 5 Hooded Mergansers vying for the remaining open water.

Budd Lake is completely iced over except for a small sliver in the middle of the lake. A few Canada Geese were there today. Perhaps gulls still uses this as an evening roost?

With a snow storm forecast for Thursday night and frigid weather following it, January could be a long month in the land of mocosocoBirds.

Chris Thomas photographed the 6 Sandhill Cranes of Franklin Township today.
Sandhill Crane

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mocosocoBirds Highlights of 2013 is here.

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