The following heavily-cropped photo is of a distant juvenile Great Cormorant in the rain at Mt. Hope Lake this morning.
Waterfowl season is growing in earnest. Mt. Hope Lake in Rockaway Twp. has 9 Northern Shovelers, 42 Ring-necked Ducks, 215 Ruddy Ducks, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, 33 Double-crested Cormorants and 1 juvenile Great Cormorant. The eagle nest at Mt. Hope was apparently abandoned earlier this year although an adult Bald Eagle was in the area this morning.
[Online maps have Mt. Hope Lake labeled as Mill Pond. Mt. Hope Pond is a separate body of water west of Mt. Hope Lake (Mill Pond) – editor]
In Morris County, Double-crested Cormorants are abundant in specific bodies of water (e.g. Boonton Reservoir, Lake Musconectcong, etc.) but Great Cormorant (GRCO) is rare. Today’s GRCO is the only record from Morris and Somerset Counties in 2014. Other than a record from the Sewaren Marina Park in Middlesex County yesterday, Oct. 10, this is is the first inland New Jersey GRCO reported this season.
Here is a list of GRCO reports from the past five years in Morris and Somerset counties:
2014 – Mt. Hope Lake (Morris), Oct. 11.
2013 – Parsippany (Morris), Sep. 14; Boonton Res. (Morris), Mar. 17.
2012 – Chimney Rock Hawkwatch (Somerset), Nov. 11.
2011 – Mt. Hope Lake (Morris), Nov. 6; Washington Valley Park (Somerset), Oct. 12; Chimney Rock Hawkwatch (Somerset), Oct. 12.
2010 – none
What Boonton Reservoir lacked in waterbirds this afternoon (2 Lesser Scaup drakes, 21 Ruddy Ducks, 3 Green-winged Teal, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, 1 Great Egret, Mute Swans, Canada Geese) was made up by the number of songbirds found in clustered areas: 6 visual Winter Wrens, 50+ White-throated Sparrows, Song, Swamp and Chipping Sparrows, 8 Eastern Towhees, 1 Lincoln’s and 1 White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, 10 Northern Flickers, Pileated, Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers as well as 1 Spotted Sandpiper (the only shorebird found) and 1 Osprey, etc.
Click on this link to see a BirdTrax view of eBird checklists for the day in Morris County. There are three tabs on the top of the applet: Sightings, Rarities, Checklists. Checklists may be the most useful for getting a picture of the birding day in Morris County. Once you are in the Checklist view select the pen and paper icon on the left to view the checklist. County bar graphs and a rarities list are also available.
82 Brant flew by the Chimney Rock Hawkwatch this afternoon (Jeff Ellerbusch).
Elsewhere, the theme of the day is that there are lots of birds around. Various eBird reports from around Somerset County show that there are a variety of warblers from Glenhurst Meadows going south including Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers plus all of the expected sparrows of the season.
In case you didn’t read this in the section above, click on this link to see a BirdTrax view of eBird checklists for the day in Somerset County. There are three tabs on the top of the applet: Sightings, Rarities, Checklists. Checklists may be the most useful for getting a picture of the birding day in Somerset County. Once you are in the Checklist view select the pen and paper icon on the left to view the checklist. County bar graphs and a rarities list are also available.