Common Loons, Tuesday Bird Notes, Mar. 31, 2015

A Common Loon charges across the water after snagging a fish,  Lake Parsippany, Mar. 31, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A Common Loon charges across the water after snagging a fish, Lake Parsippany, Mar. 31, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Good riddance to March. The monthly temperature will average out approximately to 4 degrees below normal, but it felt much colder than that throughout the month. Today, a chilly but clear morning morphed into a dreary, cold, raw, snowy, wet afternoon. The temperature hovered in the mid 30’s all afternoon in Morris County. Snow is falling and coating the landscape as this post is composed in the early evening.

One observation is evident today: Common Loons are on the move with 11 at Lake Parsippany and 10 at neighboring Boonton Reservoir. Single Horned Grebes were at Lake Musconetcong and Boonton Reservoir.

Lake Parsippany is entirely thawed. A Lesser Black-backed Gull continues but yesterday’s Iceland Gull is gone along with the majority of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls that were present. 200+ Common Mergansers, 16 Double-crested Cormorants, 23 Ring-billed and 40 Herring Gulls (down from 100 and 210, respectively) are the totals for a wet and snowy afternoon.

Only 38 Common Mergansers were tallied at Boonton Reservoir today. Most have probably moved to Lake Parsippany.

Budd Lake remains 100% frozen. Perhaps it will thaw entirely by mid-to-late April.

The northeast section of Lake Musconetcong continues to reclaim its open water and contains an impressive number of ducks. Here are highlights from the amalgamation of Alan Boyd’s morning numbers and this writer’s snow-curtailed afternoon count: 350 Ring-necked Ducks, 260 Common Mergansers, 2 Lesser Scaup, 1 Greater Scaup, 46 Bufflehead, 12 Hooded Mergansers, 10 American Wigeon, 1 Common Loon, 1 Horned Grebe and 1 Pied-billed Grebe.

Bertrand Island at Lake Hopatcong continues to host 5 Redhead, 1 Greater Scaup hen, 4 American Coot (Alan Boyd). The Redheads and Greater Scaup are present at this location since February 28.

Yesterday’s Yellow-headed Blackbird in the Opie Road, Hillsborough area was not relocated today despite numerous people searching.

3 Blue-winged Teal were found yesterday at Finderne Wetlands (Kirsten Abildskov, Piper Weldy). They continue today. This is the first occurrence in 2015 in Somerset and Morris Counties of this overdue species.

Yesterday at The Tourne, an interesting collection of winter finches was seen and photographed: Purple Finch, 3 Common Redpolls and 7 Pine Siskins (Cathy Millington).

eBird Checklists for the mocosocoBirds region may be viewed via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the website.

@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.


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