(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
Above: a vanguard Double-crested Cormorant (DCCO) awaits his comrades for another invasion of Boonton Reservoir in 2014. 435 DCCOs were counted on July 17, 2013 breaking the Morris County high count for DCCO set in 2012 when 300 were tallied. Julie Buechner found this DCCO yesterday and adds two from Indian Lake, Denville today. They are on their way.
From Mike Newlon:
Waterfowl at the Friends’ Blind in the Great Swamp NWR this morning, were: Mallard, Am. Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, Mute Swan (ugh), Wood Duck, Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead; water is still largely frozen. Also, a Bald Eagle, and a singing Eastern Bluebird near the bridge. I did not see a single sparrow or junco.
From Jim Mulvey:
Hi Jonathan – While my wife and I were volunteering at the Wildlife Observation Center in the Great Swamp NWR this morning, we flushed our FOS American Woodcock (AMWO) near the Sportsman’s Blind. The grounds are still mostly snow and ice covered, but there are exposed areas that can hold AMWO. We also had a flyover Killdeer letting us know that Spring is near.
From Terry Carruthers:
Hi Jonathan – The Great Swamp Woodcock are well and truly back, with four calling around my house on Whitebridge Rd this evening, despite large areas of snow-covered ground still present. Good birding!
From Jennifer Books:
Osborne Pond near the Verizon Building in Basking Ridge has 8 Common Mergansers (4 males and 4 females) as well as at least 15 Hooded Mergansers and a flock of Ring-neck Ducks.
Loantaka Brook Reservation was also quite active with birds today. They included 31 Ring-neck Ducks, 5 Hooded Mergansers, and 1 male Bufflehead. In addition, I spotted my first Belted Kingfisher of the year there.
From Susan Treesh:
[Editor’s note: Susan graciously sent the following notice about the Weston (Manville) Causeway closure. A link to the entire statement is here.] This bridge is the back way between the Duke Farms/Finderne Wetlands area and Somerset’s Randolph Road/Six Mile Run/Negri-Nepote area.
Also, I had Woodcock and Great Horned Owl here in northern Franklin Township this morning, as well as 7 Wood Ducks, 12 Ring-necked Ducks, 4 Common Mergansers, 2 Hooded Mergansers and the usual Canada Geese and Mallards at the old dam in my development, off Cedar Grove Lane.
Birds along Opie Road in Branchburg Twp. include 1,400 Canada Geese (mostly flyovers), 3 Wood Duck, Am. Black Ducks, Mallards, 11 Green-winged Teal, 2 Ring-necked Ducks, 1 Bufflehead, 1 Killdeer, 3 Wilson’s Snipe, 27 Tree Swallows, etc. Similar species were along Studdiford Drive plus 22 flyover Northern Pintails (Jeff Ellerbusch).
Closing out today’s post, Dave Blinder sent the following photograph he took today at Troy Meadows where he had Fox Sparrows, Pileated Woodpeckers and hundreds of Common Grackles. Click on the photo for a larger image.