Birds at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits
The Lincoln Park Gravel Pits (“The Pits”) continues to be the most reliable shorebird location in Morris County. In the summer of 2017, it is practically the only shorebird habitat in Morris due to frequent rains that have filled most bodies of water and inundated any other suitable habitat.
This morning, Roger Johnson and this observer were able to find a Glossy Ibis, Little Blue Heron, and continuing shorebirds including Semipalmated Plovers, Killdeer, Least, Pectoral, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, and Lesser Yellowlegs. Other species included Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Green Herons, and many Wood Ducks.
The Glossy Ibis is the first reported in Morris County since May 2014.
(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
The juvenile Little Blue Heron brings back memories of 2014 when up to five young Little Blue Herons spent August at The Pits at the same time that seven were at the Melanie Lane Wetlands in Hanover Twp., an unprecedented occurrence in Morris County.
The previously mentioned shorebirds have spent at least the past week moving from one feeding area to another. Six Semipalmated Plovers were seen in one group at The Pits this morning.
Green Herons are numerous at The Pits and probably go undetected more than they are counted. As much as the despised invasive Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) has blanketed most of the main lake at The Pits, the birds seem to thrive on it. Wood Ducks, Cedar Waxwings, Green Herons, and other species actively feed in the green mat. It is doubtful any remediation of this invasive species will be undertaken at this location.
As if a Black-necked Stilt on July 28 was not enough of a memorable sighting at The Pits, the evening of August 1 saw the most remarkable display of egrets ever witnessed and documented in Morris County.
Joseph Campolo saw and photographed, as best he could, thirty-two Great Egrets and seven Snowy Egrets roosting in trees at the municipal lake adjacent to the main lake of The Pits. Both totals are easily the highest ever recorded in Morris County.
Most likely, the egrets came over from the Walker Avenue Wetlands. The Lincoln Park Gravel Pits is across the Pompton River from the Walker Avenue Wetlands in Passaic County. Both places are worth a visit if time permits.
Black Tern in Somerset County
A Black Tern was present at a Superfund site in Bridgewater on August 12 (Jeff Ellerbusch), the fourth known Somerset County record.
An Olive-sided Flycatcher was reported from Troy Meadows this past week along Troy Meadows Road on Aug. 17 and 18 (Rob Fanning, Chris Williams).
A male Blue Grosbeak was seen and described at Kay Environmental Center, Chester on Aug. 18 (Frank Durso).
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