The vanguard of Double-crested Cormorants has returned to the island at Boonton Reservoir. 12 were seen on the north side this afternoon. This is approximately 7-14 days earlier at this location than the trend of recent years. Great Blue Herons are already inhabiting their nests on the island with at least 14 visible today.
On Saturday, February 25, three Tree Swallows appeared at Deerhaven Lake in Jefferson Township. This is the earliest recorded date in Morris County for this species in the eBird database.
The Eurasian Wigeon of Lake Hopatcong continues as of Feb. 25. At least two of the Tundra Swans remain as of February 26. In general, most of the large gulls seem to have left with the melting ice.
In a mild winter with much open water, duck species diversity is poor this season and seems to have dissipated further in the past week. A private pond in Roxbury held five Aythya species on the weekend of Feb. 18 with 1,200 Ring-necked Ducks, 4-10 Redheads (10 on the weekend of Feb. 11), 3 Canvasbacks, Lesser Scaup and 2 Greater Scaup in company with American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, etc. On Feb. 26, only 200+ Ring-necked Ducks remained with a smattering of Green-winged Teal and Gadwall.
Many of the local resident Bald Eagles are in nesting mode. Other young Bald Eagles can be found at many locations.
(Click on the photo for a larger image)
It is a lean season for Rough-legged Hawks in Morris and Somerset Counties. The only reliable reports are of a sighting on Feb. 17 at the Great Swamp NWR and several from Duke Farms, with the last at that location on Feb. 15.
The only Horned Larks reported in Morris County this winter were one in Chester Twp. on Feb. 18 (Jeff Ellerbusch) and 7 at the Montville Community Gardens on Feb. 15 (Garry Annibal) with at least one remaining until Feb. 19.
View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:
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@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day, occasionally. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.