Birds of Mahlon Dickerson Reservation – May 22, 2016

Scarlet Tanager, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Scarlet Tanager, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

The above photo is of one of the most confiding Scarlet Tanagers this observer can remember seeing. This male was asking to be photographed, oblivious to nine Homo sapiens nearby at the Saffin Rock-Rill section of Mahlon Dickerson Reservation.

A New Jersey Audubon All Things Birds field trip was led today by yours truly. Eight enthusiastic participants experienced the best of Mahlon Dickerson Reservation in Jefferson Township. Some of the participants continued with a side trip to Weldon Brook WMA in Sparta Township, Sussex County in the afternoon.

Pink Azalea (Rhododendron nudiflorum) is currently at its gorgeous peak, surrounding the ponds at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation.

Pink Azalea (Rhododendron nudiflorum), Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Pink Azalea (Rhododendron nudiflorum), Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Pink Lady’s Slipper was found on the forest floor in the “north woods”.

Pink Lady's Slipper, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Pink Lady’s Slipper, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A Bullfrog seemed at ease on a comfortable mat of moss at the Saffin Rock-Rill section of the reservation.

Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), Saffin Rock-Rill Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), Saffin Rock-Rill Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

The birds were the main attraction. All of the expected species are in their place, busy with the endeavor of reproducing. Thanks to Rob Gallucci for sharing the following photo he took this afternoon of the Cerulean Warbler on the path next to Saffin Pond. In the morning, the Cerulean played hard to get for awhile but finally gave the entire group great looks for an extended period of time.

Cerulean Warbler, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (photo by Rob Gallucci)

Cerulean Warbler, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (photo by Rob Gallucci)

Least Flycatchers finally returned to Mahlon this week. One was incessantly vocal in the usual place this species appears every year, along the yellow-blazed trail of the Saffin Rock-Rill pond. A very well-fed Black Bear across the pond created a brief distraction from the repetitive chebek-chebek-chebek song of the Least Flycatcher.

Lots of breeding activity was witnessed: courtship, nest building, copulation and nesting. A Wood Thrush nest was carefully and respectfully observed.

Wood Thrush Nest, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (photo By Jonathan Klizas)

Wood Thrush Nest, Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, NJ, May 22, 2016 (photo By Jonathan Klizas)

The Pine Swamp trail has two Acadian Flycatchers. One was studied at length by all of the observers. A Northern Waterthrush was in its usual place but Canada Warblers were strangely silent. They are breeders here most years. Two Hooded Warblers were heard, with one seen very briefly by some.

Yellow-billed Cuckoos were noticeable, being seen and heard. Before the group of birders convened in the morning, a Black-billed Cuckoo was observed at Saffin Rock-Rill; at the same time, an Alder Flycatcher sang a definitive fee-BEE-o three times before vanishing.

A side trip to nearby Sussex County’s Weldon Brook WMA accessed via Pascoe Road produced the usual bounty of Prairie, Chestnut-sided and Blue-winged Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Eastern Towhees, etc. A warbler with a yellow cap, dark mask, gray back and sides and yellowish tinged wings flew into view raising everyone’s excitement – until it was determined to be a Brewster’s Warbler hybrid.

A Yellow-breasted Chat spent the spring and early summer here in 2015. This year, it looks as if an herbicide was applied to a large swatch of trees and vegetation under the power lines, destroying any chance of a return of the Chat to the same locale.


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 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.


Finis


This entry was posted in Morris County, Somerset County and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s