Birds of the New Year – Jan. 7, 2018

Sandhill Crane, Somerset Co., NJ, Jan. 1, 2018 (photo by John Bloomfield)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Arctic conditions have frozen most of the water in Morris County. Somerset County does not have many bodies of water to freeze although the Raritan River is open enough to host thousands of Canada Geese as well as a variety of waterfowl species.

The annual wintering Sandhill Cranes total 15 this year. They are viewed at various cornfields in the Franklin Township area as well as seen near the Raritan River.

The Pink-footed Goose first reported on December 29, 2017 was last reported January 3 at Duke Island Park. Cackling Geese are also at the park.

Beware of a mixed-up Canada Goose x Domestic x Greater White-fronted Goose that has been at Duke Island Park recently. This goose seems to consist of various lineage streams and is best listed as goose sp., if at all.

Jeff Ellerbusch has found many interesting species in Somerset County the past few days. A Lapland Longspur at Bernardsville Quarry put in a brief appearance before disappearing, January 6. Later that day, a Lincoln’s Sparrow was well photographed at Fairview Farm. This is a very rare wintering species in the mocosocoBirds area.

Today, Jeff found another local rarity along the Delaware and Raritan Towpath near the Queen’s Bridge in South Bound Brook. An immature Great Cormorant was on a gravel bar, east of the I-287 bridge (west of the Queen’s Bridge).

Frozen Morris County is much more modest in its avian treasures so far this year. The highlights are both light morph and dark morph Rough-legged Hawks that are seen daily at the overlook on Pleasant Plains Rd., Great Swamp NWR.

A pair of Horned Larks were foraging on the bare ground this afternoon at Florham Park Fields along with Dark-eyed Juncos, Song, White-throated, and American Tree Sparrows. While often found in certain farm fields in Somerset County, Horned Larks are relatively rare in Morris County.

Horned Larks, Florham Park, NJ, Jan. 7, 2018 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

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 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.


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