Barn Swallow at the Great Swamp NWR – Mar. 5, 2017

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.

Red-shouldered Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 4, 2017 (photo by John Bloomfield)

Red-shouldered Hawk, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 4, 2017 (photo by John Bloomfield)

(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.

Barn Swallows reported in 2017 as of March 5, 2017 (eBird species map)

Barn Swallows reported in 2017 as of March 5, 2017 (eBird species map)

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.

Barn Swallows reported in 2017 as of March 5, 2017 (eBird species map)

Barn Swallows reported in 2017 as of March 5, 2017 (eBird species map)

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?

Barn Swallow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 5, 2017 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Barn Swallow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 5, 2017 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Following is a bar chart and frequency graph from the eBird database specifically based on records from Morris and Somerset Counties.

Barn Swallow in Morris and Somerset Counties

Barn Swallow in 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!

Barn Swallow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 5, 2017 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)

Barn Swallow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 5, 2017 (photo by Jeff Ellerbusch)


View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:

The eBird Hotspot Primer is here and can also be accessed via the Hotspot menu item on the mocosocoBirds.com website.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.

@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.


Finis


This entry was posted in Morris County, Somerset County and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Barn Swallow at the Great Swamp NWR – Mar. 5, 2017

  1. Sherry Felix says:

    Interesting report. Thanks.

  2. Randolph S. Little says:

    An absolutely exquisite report! Thank you Jonathan.

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