Common Mergansers; Rough-legged Hawk, Mar. 25, 2014

Common Mergansers

Common Mergansers, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Mar. 25, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Common Mergansers, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Mar. 25, 2014 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Lake Parsippany’s thaw is complete, and with that come the Common Mergansers. Split Rock Reservoir in Rockaway Township gets the largest number of Common Mergansers in Morris County during early spring with 1-2,000+. The issue in 2014 is that Split Rock is probably still frozen, as are many northern Morris bodies of water.

Common Mergansers are nearly ubiquitous in the proper habitats at this time. Nearby Boonton Reservoir is hosting 150-200 with some travelling to and from Lake Parsippany. 340+ Common Mergansers were at modestly-sized Lake Parsippany this afternoon. They were among the first waterfowl to arrive when the lake finally had open water in the past week. There may be more before week’s end.

An eBird bar graph for Common Merganser using the combined historical data from Morris and Somerset Counties is here.

One alternate plumaged Common Loon and small amounts of Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers were also present. 175 Ring-billed and 25 Herring Gulls were in several groups on the lake. A raucous flock of 75 Fish Crows flew over the lake at one point.

Rough-legged Hawk

A light phase female, and very late, Rough-legged Hawk was seen hovering and hunting for several hours behind the Farm Barn at Duke Farms, Hillsborough today (Thom Almendinger).

Greater White-fronted Goose

The Greater White-fronted Goose continues in the flooded field on Beacon Hill Road in Long Valley (Alan Boyd).

Greater White-fronted Goose, Long Valley, NJ, Mar. 25, 2014 (photo by Alan Boyd).

Greater White-fronted Goose, Long Valley, NJ, Mar. 25, 2014 (photo by Alan Boyd).

Somerset County Notes

The drake Eurasian Wigeon’s last sighting was Sunday, March 23 at Duke Farms.

Jeff Ellerbusch reports the following highlights from Somerset County:

  • 47 Common and 1 Red-breasted Merganser at Chimney Rock Reservoir.
  • 5 Blue-winged Teal, 51 Common Mergansers, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Great Egret at
    Opie Road, Branchburg Township.
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