(Photo by Simon Lane)
The Greater White-fronted Goose of Long Valley was present again today on Beacon Hill Road (Simon Lane). A Lesser Black-backed Gull , 35 Wilson’s Snipe and a Greater Yellowlegs were also in the area of the flooded field.
Not so for the Eurasian Wigeon at Finderne Wetlands
From Susan Treesh:
No sign of the Eurasian Wigeon at Finderne Wetlands (but it was around 10:30 am) [Editor’s Note: it was not seen at anytime this morning according to reports]; I did have Hooded Mergansers, Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintails and Mallards and was happy to see my very first Eastern Phoebes of the year, a pair flycatching at the western pond. (We really need to name these ponds, or name them temporarily while waiting for an illustrious bird occupant, a la Brigantine. How about Front Pond for the one visible from the parking area, Long Pond for the one perpendicular to that, and West Pond for the one if you turn right at the trailhead – the Phoebes were at the beginning of that). Also had a pair of cold-looking Savannah Sparrows at the Long Pond, and a Northern Harrier hunting the fields. On another subject, the American Water Company has gone legal and posted a brand new “no trespassing” sign on the road leading to their treatment plant off Randolph Road, which was often the best place to find the Sandhill Cranes. There may have been a wimpy, faded sign before, more honored in the breach than the observance. It’s silly, since there’s another gate further up the road where the actual plant is located, but it’s big and bright. Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…
Lincoln Park Gravel Pits
The Lincoln Park Gravel Pits are flooded, as expected. Walking was limited to surveying the two main ponds and the swim club waters.
150 Tree Swallows, many in one cluster of trees at one time, were a welcome sight. 2 Northern Rough-winged Swallows were with them crusing over the east pond. Bald Eagles must be nesting somewhere in the area, possibly along the Pompton River. 1-2 are seen nearly every time this observer visits the Pits (J. Klizas).
163 Common Mergansers and 109 Ring-necked Ducks dominated the Wood Ducks, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallards, Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal, Buffleheads, Hooded Mergansers and 1 Red-breasted Merganser. Red-breasted Mergansers have seemingly been everywhere this winter-into-spring.
A Canvasback drake was a surprise, floating with Ring-necked Ducks and Wood Ducks though the flooded woods. It was actually more distant than the following cropped photo makes it look and was a peek-a-boo duck through the trees.
Other Field Notes
Boonton Reservoir has more open water than it did yesterday at its north end where the Rockaway River. 2 Red-breasted Mergansers were with the diminished numbers of Common Mergansers. From Julie Buechner: A Common Loon was the newest addition to the mix at the Boonton Reservoir today.
Lake Parsippany is thawing. 169 Common Mergansers found enough water to be satisfied as well as 1 Pied-billed Grebe, 1 Ring-necked Duck, 6 Bufflehead and 3 Hooded Mergansers (J. Klizas).
Glenhurst Meadows had 71 Northern Pintail, 19 Green-winged Teal and 81 Ring-necked Ducks (Jeff Ellerbusch).
Last night (Mar. 22) at the overlook on Pleasant Plains Rd., Great Swamp NWR, 490 Wood Ducks were seen, counted in 10s as they lifted off from the Passaic and headed out into the Swamp at dusk. A conservative additional 30 between earlier lift offs and birds seen earlier in the evening from Overlook. Also seen were Greater Yellowlegs and Great Egret fly-bys (Jeff Elerbusch).
Today was a raw, chilly day as the Great Egret of Melanie Lane Wetlands can attest to in the photo below by Chuck Hantis.