Scaup, ahoy! Feb. 20, 2014

Greater Scaup and Raritan River Waterfowl

February 17th’s mocosocoBirds post mentions that Greater Scaup are appearing “more than usual” in interior northern New Jersey this winter. As of today, add an exclamation point to that statement thanks to Somerset County.

This afternoon, Jeff Ellerbusch counted 29 Greater Scaup on the Raritan River, viewing from the Delaware and Raritan (D&R) Canal Towpath in Franklin Township. This is a Somerset County record unless someone knows of a higher count. Of course, this does not even approach coastal numbers of this species but is noteworthy for the inland mocosocoBirds region and its neighboring counties.

Waterfowl species tallied today by Jeff at the D&R Towpath are:

Canada Geese – 102
Wood Duck – 5
Am. Black Duck – 19
Mallard – 163
Redhead – 5 (3 drakes, 2 hens)
Ring-necked Duck – 132
Greater Scaup – 29
Lesser Scaup – 7
Bufflehead – 25
Common Goldeneye – 31
Hooded Merganser – 4
Common Merganser – 13
Red-breasted Merganser – 2
Pied-billed Grebe – 1

Also present were the typical assortment of gulls, raptors and songbirds. Be aware that the towpath is buried in snow and ice. You may want to enjoy the waterfowl numbers vicariously rather than risking your well-being in seeing them for yourself.

Robins and Towhees

This is also a winter of intersting numbers of American Robins and Eastern Towhees. Read Pete Bacinski’s musings on this and other wintering species at his All Things Bird Blog, here.

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