Waterloo Valley Road
(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
“Rain” was not the only four-letter word uttered this morning at approximately 6:30 AM when the latest barrage of precipitation pelted Morris County. Those expecting to greet a new influx of migrating birds were instead welcomed with an increasing crescendo of falling rain.
But…when the rain stopped an hour or so later, something magical happened. The woods this observer was in exploded with birds and bird song. Warblers, Tanagers, Grosbeaks, et al, were flying from branch-to-branch moving in and out of view so quickly it was hard to get an accurate tally of species.
Bird migration fallout conditions were experienced in much of New Jersey this morning. One hopes that all who are reading this were able to get out and bask in the May migration experience. It does not happen often. Even blue skies and the sun finally reappeared:
Waterloo Valley Road in Mt. Olive Township was the scene of this writer’s migration adventure – five miles from International Drive to the Stephens State Park bridge over the Musconetcong River. Another trip was made to neighboring Tilcon Lake.
Waterloo Valley Road is a pothole-ridden, mostly dirt and gravel road that is notorious for its lack of upkeep – a good thing because it keeps the traffic down. Actually, one will rarely see a car on this road at all. High clearance vehicles are preferred although a certain Prius has navigated this road many times.
17 species of warblers were heard and seen, a modest amount compared to other well-known spring migrant traps, but a nice haul for a little known spot in Morris County (and for a birder who is more than 50% deaf!).
Cerulean Warblers are the stars on this road. Two were seen and heard today southwest of Tilcon Lake, between the railroad tracks and the beginning of the Saxton Falls Sand and Gravel operation (see the photo at the top of this page).
American Redstarts dominate the road’s edge while Ovenbirds and Wood Thrushes sing from the woods. Chestnut-sided Warblers, Black-throated Green and Blue Warblers, Hooded, Magnolia and Canada Warblers were part of the action this morning.
Sandhill Crane in the Great Swamp NWR
Matthew Zeitler was in the right place at the right time and captured a photograph of a Sandhill Crane flying over the Great Swamp NWR on May 7, 2016. This is the 7th known record of this species in Morris County. The most recent was a number of sightings in March of 2014.
To get a more complete picture of what people are reporting during this busy birding season, view local 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 mocosocoBirds.com 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.