Same birds; different year.
(Click on the photos for a larger image.)
New Year’s Day excitement took hold over birders today, especially with prime target species so close in proximity in Somerset County.
Early in the morning, a Greater White-fronted Goose was with Canada Geese on a lawn behind Axis Global on Randolph Road, Franklin Township near its terminus with Schoolhouse Road. The geese flew off to points unknown some time around 9 AM.
This is probably the same Greater White-fronted Goose found on Dec. 31’s Somerset County Christmas Bird Count when it was at a nearby pond on Rutgers Boulevard.
Somerset County’s first ever Rock Wren, and New Jersey’s second, was viewed by many at the back end of the construction zone off of Rutgers Boulevard. It was tricky relocating this mega-star after being reported earlier in the morning, but by mid morning it was easy to view if for no other reason than it was the only bird flying in the area.
What is likely the most photographed Rock Wren in history may stay at this location for awhile based on the patterns of previous Rock Wren vagrants in the east.
eBirders note: the hotspot for stakeout Rock Wren, Rutgers Blvd, Franklin Township (2016-17) is a huge success. Almost all observers have used it. Thank you! Those who have not submitted their checklist with the hotspot will be notified by email to do so. Checklists that fail to comply with this request will eventually be invalidated.
The eBird database is simply getting too polluted with personal locations. Please use a hotspot, if appropriate, when submitting a checklist.
The popular Somerset Sandhill Cranes, 7 in number this year, were found along Randolph Road, Franklin Township this morning in the American Water cornfield.
Somerset County’s 1st record Pink-footed Goose found on Dec. 30 by Jeff Ellerbusch continues at the VA Hospital in Lyons. At 7:30 this morning, not a single goose was on the VA property. When the geese flocks finally showed up, the Pink-footed Goose was seen with the Canada Geese at the eastern most field. At one point, it flew over to the west side of Knollcroft Road where it has been seen by many observers since the day it was discovered.
Please note: park and stay in the golf course parking lot. Do not go wandering off on the golf course. Do not drive anywhere else on the VA property other than Knollcroft Road and the golf course parking lot.
eBirders note: there is a hotspot for VA Hospital, Lyons. You can view the hotspot, here. Please use this for the VA location. Please go back over any historical data you have for that location and change it to the hotspot. Personal Locations are taking over way too much of the eBird database, especially with the species maps. For any location that you submit a checklist, please see if their is a hotspot first. The eBird community thanks you.
Cackling Geese are being found in some of the Somerset County geese flocks. Use care in identifying this species.
Lake Parsippany has a patch of open water at its north end. Hundreds of Canada Geese, approximately 30 Ring-billed and 60 Herring Gulls were there this afternoon.
The only ducks at the lake were 1 Northern Shoveler drake and 2 Ruddy Ducks along with Mallards.
Boonton Reservoir is ice-free. Approximately 300 gulls were near the dam, predominantly Ring-billed Gulls with 50+ Herring Gulls.
5 Gadwall, numerous Mallards, Am. Black Ducks, 2 Northern Pintail, 2 Common Goldeneye drakes, 1 Hooded and 143 Common Mergansers represent the duck count at the reservoir. A Horned Grebe was along the east shore at the north end.
The following photo taken after sunset, is of the reservoir facing east towards the dam at the north end.
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