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There was barely any remaining open water at Lake Hopatcong on Sunday, January 14. There is even less today. A small section of water, kept open with the help of dock-protecting pumps at Lake Hopatcong Yacht club on Bertrand Island is all that is left of ice-free conditions at the lake. This is one of the last open sections of water, other than moving rivers, in Morris County.
Waterfowl is crammed into this relatively tiny pool: 2 Mute Swans (down from 120 on Sunday), 6 Gadwall, 4 American Wigeon, 8 Mallards, 180 Ring-necked Ducks, 3 Lesser Scaup, 4 Bufflehead, 1 Common Goldeneye hen, 4 Hooded Mergansers, 5 Ruddy Ducks and 15 American Coot were joined by a Canvasback drake.
Towards the end of daylight, Ring-billed and Herring Gulls appeared from the north heading south. Who knows where they are from and where they are going. One lone Ring-billed Gull remained on the ice.
The Somerset County Barnacle Goose is not reported since January 10 at North Branch Park. The Greater White-fronted Goose was last reported two days ago. Both are probably in the area as there are still thousands of geese lingering in this section of Somerset County.
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