New Species for Somerset County
Sometimes they come in bunches. October 26 saw the first Surf Scoter recorded in Somerset County. Following close to that sighting was the county’s first recorded Long-billed Dowitcher on November 1. Jeff Ellerbusch is guilty as charged in finding both of these firsts.
The Long-billed Dowitcher finding is especially impressive as it was a flyover, identified by its distinctive call. It has not been relocated since. The area both of these birds were found in is off-limits to the general public.
Eared Grebe in Morris County
(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
A grebe was seen and photographed on Nov. 1 at Mt. Hope Lake in Rockaway Twp. (labeled Mill Pond on Google Maps). After consulting with experienced observers, it is positively identified as an Eared Grebe. If accepted by the New Jersey Bird Record Committee, this will be the first record of this species in Morris County.
The grebe was last seen on Saturday, Nov. 5. The grebe was not seen Nov. 6 and 7 despite several people searching. This sighting was not publicized through usual social media channels due to the private nature of the viewing property.
Red-necked Grebe, Snow Buntings at Budd Lake
Alan Boyd found the Red-necked Grebe in the above photo this afternoon in the southeast section of Budd Lake. This is across from the CVS store on Rt. 46. By late afternoon it had drifted slightly north-west towards the center of the lake. At this time it was viewable via scope only from the municipal beach at the south end of the lake (or south-west end, if you prefer).
Also at the south end was the annual November appearance of Snow Buntings at the Budd Lake Municipal Beach. Snow Buntings are an unusual sighting in both Morris and Somerset Counties with only a handful of historical records. For the past three years, Snow Buntings have been found at the beach on the following dates, in numbers never greater than three:
- 2014 – Nov. 4 through 8.
- 2015 – Nov. 14.
- 2016 – Nov. 7.
Other Bird Notes
Ben Barkley looked up at the right time on Saturday, Nov. 5 as a Northern Goshawk passed overhead. Ben was fortunate to get photos documenting the moment.
The Great Cormorant of Lake Musconetcong has apparently departed as it was not seen today for the first time since Oct. 25.
Ivan Kossak informs mocosocoBirds that the Great Lincoln Park Bird Count is up to 150 species for 2016 with the sighting of Rusty Blackbirds on Nov. 2 at Beavertown Park. Lincoln Park was formerly known as Beavertown.
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