(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
Two Pine Warblers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Fox Sparrows, a pair of Northern Shovelers, a Pied-billed Grebe, and at least 150 Rusty Blackbirds were at the Troy Meadows Road section of Troy Meadows this morning. The above mentioned species were mostly in the wooded area beyond the power line at the end of the rutted section of Troy Meadows Rd.
The main points of interest in the above lackluster photo are the two young Bald Eagles in the upper right and lower left of the image. The Great Blue Herons seem not to pay them any mind. An adult Bald Eagle (possibly a nearby Charlotteburg Reservoir resident) flew in and out of the area earlier followed by an immature eagle. So at least three and possibly four eagles were at Deerhaven Lake yesterday morning, Mar. 23.
Two Pied-billed Grebes were calling from opposite ends of the lake. Wood Ducks are numerous. Currently, the heronry has approximately 12-14 active nests. At least 32 adult Great Blue Herons were in and around the nests or hunting in the water.
Deerhaven Lake is a treasure of Morris County. Part of the Newark Watershed (Pequannock Watershed as it is known to many birders.), the lake and surrounding wetlands is driven passed by many people on Green Pond Road and Rt. 23 every day.
To have the full experience of the heronry, the snags, the lake, the beaver lodges and the Green Pond Mountain escarpment in the background requires a 3 mile round trip hike with frequent bushwhacking. This is not a destination for the convenience-drive-up location naturalist types. Also, to be legitimate, a hiking permit from the Newark Watershed is required.
Common Gallinule breeding is confirmed here. It seems likely that other members of the Rallidae family may nest here as well. Pied-billed Grebes and Hooded Mergansers are possible breeders as well.
Many thanks to Mitch Van Beekum for sharing the following photo of a Pileated Woodpecker at Bee Meadow Park on Mar. 22.
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