The summer of 2017 was generous at the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits where a number of Morris County rarities were found.
The first was the extraordinary Black-necked Stilt of July 28.
The second rarity at The Pits was the first Buff-breasted Sandpiper seen in years in Morris County on August 22.
A third Morris rarity at The Pits was a Snowy Egret on September 16. This followed the possible 7 Snowy Egrets seen on August 1 roosting in trees at the adjacent municipal lake in the evening. Equally remarkable was a Morris record 32 Great Egrets tallied at the same time and place.
(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
Another rarity at The Pits was a surprising Dickcissel found on September 21 by Roger Johnson and yours truly near the southern end of the Lincoln Park Gravel Pits. The Dickcissel kept company with numerous Song Sparrows as well as Lincoln’s, White-throated and Swamp Sparrows, and Common Yellowthroats in every flavor of plumage.
Along with the other typical shorebirds at The Pits this summer, an immature Glossy Ibis and up to three juvenile Little Blue Herons were, and are, at the Pits into September along with the usual Great Blue and Green Herons and Great Egrets.
Ducks are moving in at The Pits. Up to 150 Wood Ducks is possible if one wants to count them. Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, American Wigeon and other water birds such as Pied-billed Grebe and American Coot are currently present.
This place should be preserved in a formal way. It is a proven bird haven for many decades.
Readers of this blog may recall the report of a White Ibis at Troy Meadows on September 7. It was seen that day only.
Early the next week, mocosocoBirds was informed that a White Ibis was photographed by Nick Russo at Speedwell Lake, Morristown on September 9 and not seen again. Is this the same Ibis? A straight line from Troy Brook to Speedwell Lake is seven miles. We will never know for certain if this is the same individual but it is an interesting addition to the White Ibis invasion of New Jersey in 2017.
Nick has lots of great bird photos at his Full Bleed Photography web site.
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