2014 is at least the fourth year that Cliff Swallows are nesting at a few locations in Morris and Somerset Counties. The Cliff Swallows at the I-287 Bridge at Easton Avenue, Franklin Township maxed out with 17 nests in late July of 2013 (Jeff Ellerbusch).Today, 2 Cliff Swallows were at one nest at that location. There is a possible second nest next to the first. This is quite a drop off from 2013. The other Somerset County location on Weston Canal Road is not surveyed yet in 2014.
The Cliff Swallow population at the Rt. 202 bridge at Boonton Reservoir is stable. 8 Cliff Swallows were seen at one time. All of the nests are on the underside of the bridge. Based on where the swallows were flying to, there at least 4 nests and probably more – similar to the previous two years.
Although difficult to view with the foliage, 2 Black-crowned Night-Herons continue to roost on the island at Jefferson Road Pond in Parsippany.
Blue Grosbeak and Yellow-breasted Chat at South Branch WMA
The South Branch WMA lies mostly in Hunterdon County although the northeastern section of the WMA is in Hillsborough Township, Somerset County. The following report is from Frank Sencher, Jr.:”The South Branch WMA Yellow-breasted Chat is 165 feet from the Somerset border, you can easily hear it from the parking lot. The singing Blue Grosbeak was in Somerset County by 220 feet.”
2 Blue Grosbeaks continue near the community garden at Duke Farms in Hillsborough Twp. (eBirded by Vicki Schwartz).