The temperature in Morristown read 21 F degrees at 6:00 AM. With two days remaining in March, this will be one of the coldest March months since 1893. 2014 was actually colder. It needs not be said that last month was the third coldest February on record in New Jersey since 1893. These statistics can be read in tabular form at the Office of the State Climatologist.
The bird forecast for the northeast region through this coming Friday may be read at the BirdCast web site, here. Expect light to moderate movement this week, if anything at all.
Lincoln Park Gravel Pits
The first Great Egrets of 2015 entered the mocosocoBirds region today with single sightings in Franklin Twp. (Karen English) and the community swimming area next to the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits (Tom Justesen, Jill Homcy, et al).
Also, the following species were at the almost entirely thawed Lincoln Park Gravel Pits: single digits of Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Am. Black Duck, Mallard, Common Goldeneye (6), Green-winged Teal and Lesser Scaup. 300 Common Mergansers, 50+ Hooded Mergansers and 40 Ring-necked Ducks were the most numerous duck species.
Also present were 1 or 2 Common Loons, 2 Bald Eagles, 30 Double-crested Cormorants, 100 Ring-billed Gulls, 13 Herring Gulls and at least 20 high-flying Tree Swallows.
With the anticipation of the arrival of spring migrants, comes the departure of wintering species. Small numbers of American Tree Sparrows may linger throughout April, but the bulk of them will be gone in a matter of weeks. The Frequency, Abundance and Totals tabs of the eBird bar graph for American Tree Sparrow illustrates this graphically. (Click here for the graph.)
Lake Parsippany is beginning to thaw in earnest. The ice along the edges and shores of the lake are melting. A crescent-shaped portion of water slices into the middle of the lake.
Little, if any, bird activity was evident throughout the winter. That changed today. This afternoon, 67 Herring Gulls, 47 Ring-billed Gulls and a lone adult Great Black-backed Gulls were spread over the remaining ice of the lake. Fish carcasses and parts thereof were scattered over the ice. It was a buffet for gulls as seen in the photo above with the young Herring Gulls dining on the various fish parts.
Other Field Notes
Glenhurst Meadows had the following highlights today: 55 Northern Pintail, 97 Green-winged Teal, 16 Fox Sparrows along with American Woodcock and Wilson’s Snipe (Jeff Ellerbusch).
There are a few Northern Rough-winged Swallow reports today, finally.
From Ken Hart:
Corner of Lamington Road and Black River Road, Bedminster, in the field to the west of Black River Road – at least 34 Killdeer at 6:30 PM, and at least 4 Eastern Meadowlarks.
[Editor’s Note: Eastern Meadowlark is a Species of Special Concern in New Jersey. The list of these species is here.]
Below is one of the suburban Wild Turkeys frequently seen on lawns of the housing development on the outskirts of Troy Meadows.
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.