No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. – Hal Borland (1900-1978)
Above: A Red-eared Slider hauls out on the ice while enjoying 60+ F degree temperatures.
From Bobby Skrabal:
There was an Eastern Phoebe singing at Duke Island Park this morning. I also saw the Canvasback, a Red-breasted Merganser, and 2 Bald Eagles there. Later on I saw a Wilson’s Snipe at Finderne Wetlands.
[Editor’s note: Both the Eastern Phoebe and the Wilson’s Snipe are firsts of the year for mocosocoBirds.]
Jeff Ellerbusch biked the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath for a 10-mile round trip covering the southern end of Somerset County just north of Landing Lane nearly all the way to South Bound Brook. The reward was 116 Common Goldeneye, yet another Somerset County record for this species in 2014. 28 Tree Swallows were tallied, the first of the year in the mocosocoBirds region. Also present were the usual Redheads (4 drakes), Ring-necked Ducks (101), Greater Scaup (8), Lesser Scaup (2), Bufflehead (33), Hooded Merganser (14), Common Merganser (31), Red-breastd Merganser (7), Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, Mallards and Am. Black Ducks.
From Julie Buechner:
Birds are beginning to return to the Boonton Reservoir as it has started to thaw. And what a difference one day can make. I stopped by yesterday to see how much ice had melted. The inlet was flowing and there were a few birds present, 4 Common Mergansers and 1 Hooded Merganser. Today I returned and not only was there no longer any snow on the pedestrian bridge, but those numbers jumped to 44 Common Mergansers, 3 Hooded Mergansers, 15 Ring-necked Ducks, and some Canada Geese. In addition, there was a Double-crested Cormorant perched by the shoreline.
[Editor’s Note: This is the first Double-crested Cormorant report from 2014 in Morris and Somerset counties.]
A Cackling Goose was a flyover on Route 22 in Bridgewater (Mike Britt).
American Woodcock peented in the snow-covered field at the old Moody Farm (Patriots Path) at 7:19 p.m. in Washington Valley, Morris Township (J. Klizas).
Thanks to Dave Blinder for correctly identifying the Red-eared Slider in the photograph. Of course, this is an invasive species. It was mis-labeled in the original post.