The following frigid temperature greeted north New Jersey this morning:
This was after a gusty, blustery, brutally cold Saturday with the temperature never getting above the freezing mark and feeling much colder. Despite the cold, and besides getting a photograph of a gorgeous adult Red-shouldered Hawk, John Bloomfield spotted a Tree Swallow at the Great Swamp NWR, a hardy swallow indeed. The previous weekend saw early Tree Swallows in Morris County but the weather was balmy compared with March 4.
(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
We are not done with swallows yet.
Take a look at this screenshot of an eBird species map of reported Barn Swallows generated on the afternoon of March 5, 2017. You can click on it to get a larger image.
Other than Florida, the Gulf Coast and Texas, Barn Swallows have not been reported in the eastern United States. The lone Indiana report is from Feb. 19 and the observer did not consider it worthy of any written comments raising the eyebrow of this eBird reviewer.
Below is an eBird species map of reported Barn Swallows generated at approximately 8:15 PM on March 5, 2017. Note the New Jersey pinpoint as well as sightings in Tennessee and Arkansas. New Jersey is not alone finding Barn Swallows today.
Jeff Ellerbusch documents the occasion with photographs and was told other people saw it during the day but were unsure of the identification. March 5 and a Barn Swallow in New Jersey? And not even in Cape May?
Following is a bar chart and frequency graph from the eBird database specifically based on records from Morris and Somerset Counties.
(Click on the image for a larger rendering.)
The earliest known Barn Swallow arrival dates in north New Jersey are during the last few days of March and even these are represented by a small handful of records. The bar graph and frequency chart show that the majority of Barn Swallows arrive in Morris and Somerset Counties from mid-April into May. A sighting on March 5 in Morris County is simply extraordinary and an absurdity of nature!
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. 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.