Black-throated Blue Warbler in the Great Swamp NWR
On Saturday, December 26, 2015 Michael Adams found an interesting warbler on the grounds of The Raptor Trust in the Great Swamp NWR: a female Black-throated Blue Warbler. Interestingly, Michael found a Black-throated Blue Warbler on the noteworthy date of November 21 at the same location.
Michael was able to get photographs of the same bird on Sunday, Dec. 27. It is a genuine female Black-throated Blue Warbler with one unusual feature, it has yellow feet! It may be difficult to see in the photos, but Michael said they were yellow in the field.
What makes this sighting historic is that this species has never been recorded before in New Jersey during winter (see The Birds of New Jersey: Status and Distribution, William J. Boyle, Jr. Princeton Univ. Press, 2011).
Bill Boyle also added the following information when informed of this sighting: “Black-throated Blue Warbler has never been recorded on a New Jersey CBC, but it has been found twice on count day and once during count week on the New York part of the Lower Hudson CBC (1998, 2012, 2014). Not aware of any other winter or even early winter records. Has also been seen twice on PA CBCs (2004 and 2006).”
Despite searching, the Black-throated Blue Warbler was not found today, Dec. 28.
12 Sandhill Cranes in Franklin Township
Plant corn and they will come, at least in Franklin Township. The highest count of Sandhill Cranes recorded in Somerset County, 12, was seen at the stubble fields near the intersection of Mettlars and Weston Roads in Franklin Twp. on Dec. 27, 2015.
Jon Cochran and Melissa Penta were present to witness the growing number of wintering Sandhill Cranes in Somerset County. They counted eleven adults and one juvenile.
The cranes’ typical haunt where most observers have found them over the years, the Randolph Rd. fields, were planted with soybeans this year meaning that the cranes will be more difficult to find this winter. They do not eat soybeans. The Weston Rd. area may be the best place to start looking.
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