Thursday Field Notes, Jan. 2, 2014

The frozen northern section of Lake Hopatcong at Nolan’s Point was deserted of birds late this afternoon – no swans, no gulls, no ducks. The 5 Tundra Swans moved south to Bertrand’s Island, joining the decreasing number of ducks congregated near the yacht club. 2 female Common Goldeneye were with the swans, Gadwall, Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks, Hooded Mergansers and Buffleheads. Only a very few gulls were seen flying. Decreased visibility with the oncoming snowstorm and biting cold contributes to a minimal report.

The Glaucous Gull found yesterday at Boonton Reservoir was not reported today. Viewing after sunset was non-productive with distant Ring-billed and Herring Gulls being the only birds identifiable.
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1 Cackling Goose was found with hundreds of Canada Geese at North Branch Park (Jeff Ellerbusch).

5 Common Ravens were at Homestead Road, Hillsborough Township.
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From Margo D. Beller, Jan. 1, 2014:
“This New Year’s Day my husband and I walked into Troy Meadows via the unimproved part of Troy Meadows Rd. beyond the small lot. The predominant birds were of the woodpecker family – 2 Pileateds, at least 6 Red-bellieds, a Downy and one of the Red-headed Woodpeckers. Unfortunately, the road is very icy and about halfway between the bridge over Troy Brook and where the road turns left, it was completely impassable for us.

From there we drove to the Patriots Path entrance at South Beverwyck where there was a large flock of Blue Jays and a smaller one of Titmice. Once down the (mainly ice-free) path to the field, we were walking on frozen grass over ice over water, a very spongy feel under our boots. We did not go far, especially when we heard an ATV roaring through the trees at the edge of the marsh. Based on what we heard – stopping and starting in one area – we can only hope it got stuck in the boggy terrain.

Our final stop was at the Patriots Path trail head off Troy Road in Hanover. Here we found many White-throated Sparrows and 4 young men on their ATVs in the woods behind the houses, too close to the marsh and the power lines for our comfort.

We saw no raptors at Troy Meadows but a sharp-shinned hawk flew over Reynolds Ave. as we drove home.

You are right, it will be a long month once the snow and the big chill come. I have my feeders filled.”

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