Little Blue Herons (LBHE) continue to be an interesting story this summer. Two more juveniles were at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits on Aug. 11 along with 6 Great Blue Herons, 11 Great Egrets, 3 Green Herons, 21 Killdeer and 17 Least Sandpipers.
This afternoon, two juvenile LBHEs continued at Melanie Lane Wetlands. Suddenly, a number of white birds flushed from the western end of the marsh revealing 5(!) juvenile Little Blue Herons, a Snowy Egret and two Great Egrets. 4 LBHEs were seen here on July 27 (Tim Vogel). They can easily hide among the tall vegetation on the west side of the marsh.
Other than a successful breeding year in the region, there is no attempt in this space to explain the unprecedented influx of LBHEs in Morris and Somerset Counties this summer.
Melanie Lane also has 3 Green Herons, 3 Killdeer, 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 9 Least Sandpipers and 1 Pectoral Sandpiper.
Snowy Egret is a rare species in both Morris and Somerset Counties with few records over the years. This is the second Snowy Egret for Morris in 2014. The first was on May 1. Somerset also has one record for 2014 seen on private property on April 29.
At sunset, all 5 Little Blue Herons assembled on and around the tree in the photo below. Soon thereafter, the two Great Egrets attempted to take over the tree causing the LBHEs and 1 Great Egret to fly westward towards an unknown nocturnal roost.
On Aug. 11, Chuck Hantis photographed some of the Little Blue Herons of Melanie Lane Wetlands as shown below. Click on the photo for a larger image.
The little known Fish Tract in Florham Park had 2 Great Egrets, 1 each of Killdeer, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, and 7 Least Sandpipers.
Today’s storm passage did not produce any remarkable fallout birds. An Osprey was at Boonton Reservoir. Many of the Double-crested Cormorants were loafing on the east shore, not on the island as usual. An adult Bald Eagle perched on the island may have something to do with that.
The Daily Planets
If you are awake an hour or more before sunrise for the next few mornings (sunrise is approximately 6:07 a.m.), look towards the east for Jupiter and Venus, our sky’s two brightest planets, as they engage in the closest planet-to-planet conjunction of 2014. Their closest convergence will be August 18.