Sora at Loantaka Brook Reservation
Rob Fanning found a Sora at Kitchell Pond, Loantaka Brook Reservation this morning. This excellent sighting is the second known Sora record for this gem of a reservation. One stayed for the first few days of November, 2013 (see that post here).
A Lincoln’s Sparrow was in and around the fenced in garden opposite the picnic pavilion near the pond.
Migrants are streaming through the area as witnessed this morning at Sayre’s Farm in the Washington Valley section of Morris Township. Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos, a male Wilson’s Warbler, Tennessee and Blackpoll Warblers are some of the highlights. Common Yellowthroats, along with Swamp and Song Sparrows are currently numerous in the right habitats. Lincoln’s Sparrows are wide-spread. Purple Finches are locally scattered.
You will not find Sayre’s Farm on a map, unless you view a Beers, Robinson or Mueller atlas from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a property once owned by Theodore Sayre, relative of the Sayre family that was the victim of Antoine LeBlanc in the infamous Morristown murders of 1833.
After being hung on the Morristown Green for his grisly crime, LeBlanc’s body was subjected to various tests as well as being skinned. This is not one of the brighter episodes in Morristown’s history. A wallet made from his hide is kept in the archives of the Morristown and Morris Township Library. You can read an account of the murders here.
Sayre’s Farm has various micro habitats that appeal to a variety of migrants, especially in the autumn. It was a favorite of a few local birders up until a few years ago when the Morris County Parks System put a lock on the driveway gate, restricting access. Currently, the only way to get in is by hiking in from Patriots Path and knowing where you are going.
Great Swamp Big Sit, Oct. 9
Oct. 2 at Glenhurst Meadows: 11 Lincoln’s Sparrows, 8 Red-headed Woodpeckers, Winter Wren, 5 Marsh Wrens, 16 warbler species, 185 Swamp Sparrows, etc., etc. (Jeff Ellerbusch).
Yours truly is leading a New Jersey Audubon All Things Birds trip at Glenhurst Meadows this Saturday, Oct. 8.
Sunday, Oct. 2, Troy Meadows produced numerous Common Yellowthroats, a pair of Lincoln’s Sparrows, American Kestrels, a Merlin, a wandering group of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Red-headed Woodpecker, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Marsh Wren and migrating Northern Flickers among many other species along Troy Meadows Rd. and a patriots Path loop at the southern end accessed by the kiosk on South Beverwyck Rd.
On September 28 at Troy Meadows: Connecticut Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo, double-digit Lincoln’s Sparrows, etc. (Roger Johnson).
A highlight in Somerset County this past week was an immature Great Cormorant in the Raritan River along the D&R Canal at South Bound Brook (Michael Adams). It was seen September 27 and 29.
Here is Ben Barkley’s report from Lord Stirling Park on September 29:
“Today was cold, windy, and cloudy but there were definitely birds around Lord Stirling Park. The new wave of migrants has hit with plenty of Palms, Yellow-rumps, Bluebirds, and Robins around. Both kinglets have arrived as well as Hermit Thrush today. Warblers are still kicking around in decent quantity as I had nine species on my hour-long walk this afternoon. Raptor wise there were a few Peregrines, several Osprey, and one incredibly low adult Bald Eagle. The fields on the western edge of the property are full of sparrows with over a dozen Swamp and 3 Lincoln’s mixed in with the usual suspects today. On the rarity side, there was a Marsh Wren by the black drainage pipe at the NE corner of Branta Pond, it was never more than a few feet from the pipe but it was hiding itself exceptionally well. I also had a Common Loon fly fairly low over the building. An interesting day all around.”
A Dunlin was found at a private location (i.e., no public access except by permission) in Somerset County on Sept. 29 and remained for a few days (Jeff Ellerbusch)
Here is Chris Thomas’s photo of a Lesser Yellowlegs at Florham Park Fields, Oct. 1.
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