(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
The pumps at the docks of the yacht club on Bertrands Island, Lake Hopatcong are keeping a minimum amount of water from freezing. The rest of the largest freshwater lake in New Jersey is an ice fisherman’s paradise. If you think the lake is a boat-centric body of water in the summer (it is!), you should see the amount of snowmobile and ATV tracks on the snow covered ice right now.
What any small amount of water will attract when everything else is frozen. This section of open water had the following waterfowl this frigid morning: 2 Mute Swans, 2 Redhead drakes, 1 Greater Scaup hen, 1 Common Goldeneye hen, 4 Hooded Mergansers and 4 American Coot.
From Ted Chase:
Rough-legged Hawks were harder to come by at Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve today – observers sitting in the middle with poised scopes weren’t seeing them – but by making the circuit of the edges I saw: one dark morph Rough-legged flying along the west edge of the property; probably another, way on the south side of Skillman Lane; and a light morph bird approximately over the bend in Skillman Lane just north of the parking lot (seen by others over the parking lot). Also two Northern Harriers and two Red-tailed Hawks; and about four American Tree Sparrows at the southwest corner. – Ted Chase, Franklin Township
Chuck Hantis saw two light morph Rough-legged Hawks at the Great Swamp NWR early this morning.
Yesterday, Feb. 27 from Arlene Oley:
I took a quick ride at lunch time and a dark phase Rough-legged Hawk is still on South Middlebush between Suydam Rd. and Jacques Lane. Also on Jacques lane was Fox Sparrow, Kestrel and lots of LBB’s but not enough time. As I headed back towards Griggstown along Canal Road I had a Red-shouldered Hawk. – Arlene R. Oley, Kingston, NJ
Black Vulture chin scratcher
One of 25 Black Vultures at the Green Pond Road roost this morning. No Turkey Vultures were present at 7:30 this morning.
Other Field Notes
In keeping with the theme of “whatever open water there is in Morris County may have waterfowl in it”, Robert Stapperfenne had a Northern Pintail drake, 3 Hooded Mergansers, 29 Mallards and a Great Blue Heron at Great Brook on Dickson’s Mill Road, Harding Twp. today.
From Ken Hart:
An adult Bald Eagle was eating a deer carcass on the frozen river at the SW end of Burnt Mills Road, near Rattlesnake Bridge Rd. (Bedminster Twp.). Along Burnt Mills Rd: 8 Eastern Bluebirds.
Sandy Hook, NJ – out of range for mocosocoBirds, but a gray morph sub-adult Gyrfalcon spotted by Scott Barnes and Linda Mack today at Sandy Hook is certainly worth mentioning. Although this observer was not fortunate to see this magnificent falcon, anyone and everyone should journey to the Hook and witness the extraordinary mass of Greater Scaup, Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks on the ocean side, from approximately parking area E going north. It is a line of duckage as far as one can see. The numbers on eBird put this well over 100,000 birds. It is worth the trip just to see this.
eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:
@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.