Most of the 33 Horned Grebes found by Alan Boyd today at Budd Lake can be counted if one looks at the above photo closely enough. As is typical with the “Budd Lake look” the Grebes were distant from any vantage point of the lake.
Budd Lake was frozen as of this past Saturday (see this post) and birds were absent, except for a few Ring-billed Gulls. Yesterday’s unseasonable warmth melted the ice and look what happened. Along with the 33 Horned Grebes were 850 Canada Geese, 5 Bufflehead, 4 Common Mergansers, 7 Ruddy Ducks, 60 Ring-billed Gulls and 38 Herring Gulls.
Two other lakes frozen on Saturday which thawed yesterday are Lake Musconetcong and Mt. Hope Lake (Mill Pond on Google maps). Lake Musconetcong regained some birds with 6 Bufflehead, 47 Hooded Mergansers, 12 Common Mergansers and 5 Ruddy Ducks (Alan Boyd).
Mt. Hope Lake held 2 Mute Swans, 5 Gadwall, 11 Mallards, 12 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Bufflehead, 12 Hooded Mergansers, 36 Ruddy Ducks and 38 American Coot (J. Klizas).
Lake Parsippany, frozen on Sunday but ice-free today, had 70 Canada Geese, 13 Mute Swans, 27 Gadwall, 5 Mallards, 5 Hooded Mergansers, 7 Common Mergansers, 11 Ruddy Ducks, 4 American Coot, 66 Ring-billed Gulls and 6 Herring Gulls (J. Klizas).
Kenvil Lake (Dell Avenue Park) had 44 Lesser Scaup, 78 Ruddy Ducks, 3 Killdeer and 2 Common Ravens (Alan Boyd).
In Somerset County, 8 Sandhill Cranes continue daily at Randolph Road, Franklin Township, usually in the corn stubble opposite Apgar Road.