Blue Grosbeak, St. Virgil’s Ravens – June 7, 2015

Blue Grosbeak, Lake Denmark, NJ, June 7, 2015 (documentation photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Blue Grosbeak, Lake Denmark, NJ, June 7, 2015
(documentation photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The poor quality photo above is of an immature male Blue Grosbeak found this morning in the wilds of Lake Denmark, Rockaway Twp. This is the only Blue Grosbeak reported from Morris County so far in 2015. A sample of the Blue Grosbeak’s song from this morning can be heard here.

Other species around the lake are Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Ovenbirds, Worm-eating Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, etc.

Tim Vogel adds Least Flycatcher and Bald Eagle to the list from Saturday, June 7.

Lake Denmark is encompassed by the U.S. Military’s Picatinny Arsenal. Most of the 6,400 acres of Picatinny are off limits to the public. When an area is proudly advertised as “the Joint Center of Excellence for Armaments and Munitions” it is probably a good idea to heed any warnings to KEEP OUT.

However, Lake Denmark Road is public and an excellent birding location in the spring. Certain parts of Lake Denmark are accessible to the public as well. In general, it is mocosocoBirds policy to treat Lake Denmark as a you-are-on-your-own location and not divulge birding-site specifics.

St. Virgil’s Ravens

A lone, tall Norway Spruce stands in the front of St. Virgil’s Parish at the southwest corner of Speedwell Avenue (Rt. 202) and West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township (West Hanover Ave. is the border between Morris Plains to the north and Morris Township to the south).

For anyone who has waited for the red light to change at this busy intersection, you may have noticed Black and/or Turkey Vultures roosting in that spruce tree. You may have also heard the croaking calls of Common Ravens emanating from said tree – up to four to be exact. Where these Ravens live or nest is uncertain, but they have inhabited the Morris Plains-Morris Township-Cedar Knolls area for at least 4 years.

These Ravens were especially regular at the Shop-Rite construction site at Horsehill Rd. and W. Hanover Ave. in 2013 which Chuck Hantis photo-documented. Those photographs can be seen here.

After going unreported for a long period, the Ravens have made the eBird database yet again. They were heard on Saturday, June 6 in their usual location (Daniel Nowak via eBird).

Other Field Notes

From Louis Bizzarro today at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation:
“I’m happy to say a Cerulean Warbler is still present near Saffin Pond. At around 9:30 A.M. he was singing less than 20 yards east of the trail. It’s great to see this vulnerable species thrive and expand through New Jersey.”

“Other highlights included three Acadian Flycatchers (one was off of Ogden trail, two near Pine Swamp), four Least Flycatchers (Two near Saffin pond, two off of Ogden trail), a flock of four Ravens next to the baseball field (along with a black bear!), and twelve warbler species including a Canada, Hooded, and three Northern Waterthrushes at Pine Swamp. Also at Pine Swamp was a singing Purple Finch, which was a nice surprise.”

From Bob Auster:
“At Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve today I observed a pair of Blue Grosbeaks on the main trail shortly past the pond. Also there was a Yellow-breasted Chat on the trail that runs on the east side of the power lines, south of the farm and about 50 yards after the trail forks away from the power lines. The Ring-necked Pheasant previously reported by others was also heard well from this same location.”

[Editor’s Note: Apologies for bearing bad news for listers, but recent (as in the past year) information has come to the fore that any Ring-necked Pheasant observations in the Negri area, and anywhere in Morris and Somerset Counties for that matter, are of released birds and should not be taken seriously.]

Waterloo Valley Road in Mt. Olive Twp. has Cerulean Warbler (annual), Acadian Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher and 5 Bank Swallows at the colony (Simon Lane).

Bank Swallow, Mt. Olive Twp., NJ, June 7, 2015 (photo by Simon Lane)

Bank Swallow, Mt. Olive Twp., NJ, June 7, 2015 (photo by Simon Lane)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

If attempting to view this small, but annual, Bank Swallow colony, be aware that the bank is shared with Northern Rough-winged Swallows. There are lots of little brown swallows flying about.

The Killdeer Family at Melanie Lane Wetlands – photo by Chuck Hantis.

Killdeer, Melanie Lane Wetlands, Hanover, NJ, June 6, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Killdeer, Melanie Lane Wetlands, Hanover, NJ, June 6, 2015 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

These are just some of the reports for today. View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region 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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