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Laughing Gull in Hillsborough Township
A Laughing Gull (LAGU) was at the Norz farm area of River Road this morning with 40 Ring-billed Gulls (Jeff Ellerbusch). LAGU is a rare species in the mocosocoBirds area, more so in Morris than Somerset.
3 Pectoral Sandpipers joined the 7 Blue-winged Teal at Opie Road, Branchburg Twp. (Andrew Lucas). These represent the first Pectoral Sandpipers of the season in the mocosocoBirds region.
American Bittern at Great Swamp NWR
The area’s first American Bittern for 2014 was at the near blind at the Wildlife Observation center of the Great Swamp NWR as eBirded by Tom Smith.
West Morris Lakes
4 Bonaparte’s Gulls were at Van Every Cove at Lake Hopatcong this morning. The speed boats are motoring up and fishermen are numerous at this boat-happy body of water. Nevertheless, there are still water birds to find. 134 Bufflehead are scattered about New Jersey’s largest lake, the most located at one place in 2014 in Morris and Somerset counties – also, 2 Lesser Scaup, 9 Common and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Common Loons, 1 Pied-billed Grebe and 8 Horned Grebes, most in nearly complete alternate plumage.
Lake Musconetcong has 3 Horned Grebes, 16 Buffleheads, Purple Martins, Double-created Cormorants, Mute Swans and fishing boats.
Budd Lake has 55 Bufflehead, 28 Common Mergansers, 7 Red-breasted Merganser females, 8 Ruddy Ducks and 4 Horned Grebes. Horned Grebes are ubiquitous on the large lakes at the current time (J. Klizas).
General notes: Ruby-crowned Kinglets are reported from various sources today. Barn Swallows are more evident. Palm and Pine Warbler numbers are growing. Brown Thrashers and Chipping Sparrows are moving into the region.