Am. Woodcock, Ducks, other field notes – Feb. 29, 2016

Am. Woodcock, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 13, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas) (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Am. Woodcock, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 13, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas) (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

With the mild winter of 2016, there is no waiting this year for one of the true harbingers of spring, the calls and display flights of the American Woodcock. The snow is barely melted when these shorebirds begin to arrive. They are currently everywhere in suitable habitat in Morris and Somerset Counties. This writer had 9 last evening in a short stretch of Morris Township’s Washington Valley, and that was mostly from the car with the window open. Reports from elsewhere in the region echo the same experience.

After a dearth of ducks in the area throughout this winter, numbers of Anatidae are finally starting to grow.

300+ Common Mergansers were at Boonton Reservoir, Feb. 27 along with a drake Common Goldeneye.

350 Common Mergansers were at Lake Hopatcong, Feb. 28. Also present were 130 Ring-necked Ducks, 12 American Wigeon, 22 Bufflehead (low for this location) and 1 Common Loon.

The region’s Bald Eagles, at least those viewed recently, are apparently on eggs. The Duke Farms’ Bald Eagles are already on two eggs. The Duke Farms blog is here

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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and posts information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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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