Bonaparte’s Gulls in Hillsborough Twp.
(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
15 airborne Bonaparte’s Gulls circled the Norz Farm fields and power lines on River Road in Hillsborough Twp. this afternoon before drifting north. At least 3 partially hooded Bonaparte’s Gulls were on the ground with the 200+ Ring-billed Gulls on the farm fields.
7 Long-tailed Ducks were in the waters north of Bertrand Island, Lake Hopatcong today. 2 remaining Redheads were also in the rough waters on this raw, chilly day (Alan Boyd). 5 Redheads were at the lake since Feb. 28. Only a male and female are left of that group.
Elsewhere on the lake, this observer tallied 30 Green-winged Teal, 40 Ring-necked Ducks, 2 Greater Scaup, 67 Bufflehead, 12 Hooded Mergansers, 550 Common Mergansers, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Horned Grebe and…14 Common Loons. More on this later.
3 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls were in the water with a group of mostly Herring Gulls southwest of Nolan’s Point. A conservative count of 400 Tree Swallows traveled over much of the surface of the lake this afternoon. Incidentally, Lake Hopatcong is entirely thawed.
Bonaparte’s Gull at Lake Musconetcong
A lone Bonaparte’s Gull was resting in the water today at Lake Musconetcong. 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, joined 11 Horned Grebes and…4 Common Loons (Alan Boyd). Common Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks continue in smaller numbers than in the past week.
3 Osprey were at the northeastern section of the lake in the late afternoon.
Red-necked Grebes and Loon-acy in Morris
2 Red-necked Grebes were at the north end of Boonton Reservoir late today. The grebes were swimming near a raft of 20 Common Loons. Scanning the waters turned up a count of 40 Common Loons either resting or gently floating. The entire mid-section and south end of the reservoir were not checked so the real count could be higher.
Lake Parsippany had 15 Common Loons today, down from the 24 loons on the lake the previous two days. 3 Red-breasted Mergansers kept to themselves and were separate from the 130 Common Mergansers on the northwest part of the lake.
This past week has seen an unprecedented flight of loons in Morris County. The previous known high count for Lake Parsippany was 4. That count was obliterated all week with yesterday’s count of 24 representing the all-time high.
Boonton Reservoir’s previous high count was 35 in 2011. Today’s count of 40 replaces that record.
Add 14 Common Loons at Lake Hopatcong, 4 at Lake Musconetcong and 3 at Budd Lake as well as 40 at Boonton and 15 at Lake Parsippany and one has an historic trend for the county.
Today demonstrated a movement of Bonaparte’s Gulls, Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Loons, Osprey and Tree Swallows. 3 Little Gulls at Spruce Run in Hunterdon County went undetected in Morris County.
Other field notes
2 Blue-winged Teal are with 14 Green-winged Teal, Wilson’s Snipe and American Woodcock at the “Snow Goose Pond”, actually a flooded field, on Beacon Hill Rd. in Long Valley.
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