2 Cackling Geese were seen with approximately 800+ Canada Geese at the southern end of Pinch Brook Golf Course in Florham Park this afternoon. Viewing was from a parking lot on Ridgedale Avenue. Most of the geese had flown by 4:45 p.m. heading towards the general vicinity of Black Meadows in Hanover Township (Jamie Glydon). While essentially widespread in Somerset County, Cackling Goose is a difficult species to find in Morris and these are the first reported in 2014.
A blue-morph Snow Goose was with 450 Canada Geese in a pond on Beacon Hill Road, Middle Valley, Washington Township (Dave Harrison). Dave also found 2014’s first Red-breasted Nuthatch in the mocosocoBirds area at Kenvil Pond, Roxbury Township. This species is absent from its typical locations in Morris county this year.
20 Snow Buntings were flyovers in Gillette, Long Hill Township, vocalizing and showing “flashes of white and light brown” (Jim Mulvey).
The 6 Sandhill Cranes of Franklin Township were seen on Randolph Road today (Kristi Reed).
From Leslie Webster:
“News from Loantaka Brook Reservation: the paths are mostly ice-free as of this morning. Small groups of the usual winter birds were foraging in the woods and a Hermit Thrush was on the forest floor near the path at the edge of the Loantaka Way field. At Kitchell Pond, the upper half of which is ice free, there were three Hooded Mergansers (two males) and a Ruddy Duck, in addition to six Green-winged Teal and four Mallards. Three Herring Gulls have joined sixteen Ring-billed Gulls on the ice and water.”