Vesper Sparrow, Black-crowned Night-Herons – Apr. 10, 2016

Vesper Sparrows in Florham Park

Vesper Sparrow, Florham Park, NJ, Apr. 10, 2016 (photo by Chris Thomas)

Vesper Sparrow, Florham Park, NJ, Apr. 10, 2016 (photo by Chris Thomas)

Two Vesper Sparrows were seen and photographed by Chris Thomas at Florham Park Fields this morning. At least one was still present in the afternoon where it was seen on the edge of the first gravel parking area by the pond closest to Columbia Turnpike.

Black-crowned Night-Herons in Parsippany

Black-crowned Night-Herons, Parsippany, NJ, Apr. 6, 2016 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

Black-crowned Night-Herons, Parsippany, NJ, Apr. 6, 2016 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

4 secretive Black-crowned Night-Herons returned to Jefferson Road Pond in Parsippany last week. Why they favor this location is anyone’s guess. The pond is a trash collector at the back side of the Sheraton Hotel in the middle of a corporate office complex located at the crossroads of I-287 and I-80. One can get a very quick view of the north end of the pond while accessing I-80 from the I-287 exit. A paved walkway encircles the pond and is popular with hotel guests and others.

Despite all of the traffic noise and disturbance, Black-crowned Night-Herons have been seen here annually since at least 2013 due to the diligent observations of Julie Buechner. Julie also found Yellow-crowned Night-Herons here in 2013-14. The eBird Hotspot for Jefferson Road Pond is here and an eBird generated checklist of species seen at the pond is here.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, Parsippany, NJ, Apr. 6, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Black-crowned Night-Heron, Parsippany, NJ, Apr. 6, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Other Bird Notes

Common Loons are visiting Morris lakes during their migration. 5 were at Lake Hopatcong this morning; 3 at Lake Parsippany yesterday. Even modestly sized Cedar Lake in Denville had a Common Loon on Friday (Cathy Millington). This falls far short of the 42 Common Loons tallied at Lake Hopatcong on April 12, 2015.

Along with the aforementioned 5 Common Loons, at least 13 Bonaparte’s Gulls were at Lake Hopatcong during the icy morning. One Horned Grebe was at Great Cove. With the sub-freezing temperature and the sharp, cutting northwest wind, Lake Hopatcong felt like the coldest place on earth this morning.

Louisiana Waterthrushes (LOWA) were singing at many locations in Rockaway Township yesterday, April 9. The LOWAs of Black River Rd. in Long Valley are back (Ken Hart) as are the Jockey Hollow LOWAs of Primrose Brook (Jennifer Books) and the nearby Bernardsville LOWA locations.

Ospreys are becoming more evident with increasing reports from the area. An Osprey spent much of the past week at Bee Meadow Park in Hanover Twp. Dave Blinder filmed a dining Osprey which can be seen at this link.

The previous week saw many of the expected species arriving on time. Cornell’s Laboratory of Ornithology’s Birdcast has a regional migration forecast for April 8-15. The link is here.

NOTE: Melanie Lane access is closed from Rt. 10!

Birders who visit Melanie Lane Wetlands be on notice. The fitness club on Rt. 10 whose property birders use to access the south end of Melanie Lane Wetlands is now off limits. The fitness club has gone bankrupt, and apparently ripped-off all of its members in the process. A security guard is present at all times, more than likely to prevent the equipment that is still in the gym from moving undercover of the night, or whenever. Access to the wetlands viewing area is currently forbidden.

Compounding the issue is that the soccer club on Melanie Lane is in the process of moving the mound of dirt this space affectionately named Mount Melanie, for future soccer fields. All access via Melanie Lane is off limits as well. We shall wait and see. Hopefully, what remains of this little gem of habitat can be salvaged.

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.

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


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