Any open water with waterfowl in Morris County is a thankful relief to the frozen snowscape currently smothering the region. For reasons unknown, the secondary pond at Indian Lake in Denville is mostly open, while the main lake across North Shore Road is entirely frozen and covered with snow. Viewing is difficult because of piled-up snow blocking vantage points and the private properties bordering the pond. The pond also sneaks behind trees and under I-80 giving the waterfowl places to hide causing a different mix of species during the day.
In the late afternoon, three Merganser species were represented by 1 Hooded, 4 Common and 1 Red-breasted. The Aythya genus included 6 Ring-necked Ducks, 3 Lesser Scaup and 2 Greater Scaup. 2 Common Goldeneyes, a Bufflehead, 7 Mallards and 4 Canada Geese round out the numbers.
The water treatment tanks near Boonton Reservoir on Greenbank Road as well as the neighboring Rockaway River are hosting ducks. Mallards, Gadwall and Wood Ducks were the only species observed during a quick drive-by.
An attempt was made to walk into different areas of Troy Meadows this morning. Thigh-deep snow in places was enough to turn this adventurer 180 degrees back to the parked car.
Steve Byland in Warren Twp. had a bizarre visitor to his feeder today as illustrated by the photo below: a blackened Tufted Titmouse, or perhaps, the Sooty Titmouse.