April – at last
(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
The morning of April 1st reminds one of the winter past; the afternoon gave a glimpse of a hoped for warming trend.
Common Mergansers are the dominant duck species according to numbers. Many lakes and ponds remain frozen.
Tree Swallows are becoming slightly more apparent. Northern Rough-winged Swallows are beginning to arrive. Eastern Phoebes are finally showing up in their usual haunts.
Shorebirds are late, as is everything this year. Wilson’s Snipe gave a good account of themselves in the Great Swamp NWR today as seen in the photo below.
From Margo D. Beller:
“Yesterday (March 31) I finally saw a pair of Phoebes at the pond off Central Avenue, near the Morris Plains-Parsippany border. They nest under the bridge. The pond also had, for the first time I’ve seen in some time, Hooded Mergansers as well as Wood Ducks, Mallards and a Great Blue Heron. Somewhere up Thompson brook (this name is on old maps; this brook and Watnong Brook meet at the pond and the brook continues as Watnong to the Whippany River) I heard the distinct rattle of a Kingfisher. At the upper of the two ice ponds off Reservoir Road at Greystone were Ring-Necked Ducks, Buffleheads, Hooded Mergansers and Mallards. The lower pond, as of yesterday, was still mainly ice.
So despite the snow (April Fool!), spring is just about here in fact as well as on the calendar.”
Corey Dwyer captured the following image of a Northern Cardinal contemplating yesterday’s snowfall.
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