You need a magnifier to see the Tundra Swans near the south shore of the island at Boonton Reservoir in the above photo. The group of swans extends both left and right out of the range of the image. More were located on the north side of the island.
The south end of Boonton Reservoir is viewed from the high point of the Waterview Plaza parking lot accessed via Rt. 46 east. It is anything but ideal. A scope is required. A step stool is helpful to view over the wall that sits on top of the berm. In keeping with the many viewing locations at Boonton Reservoir, everything is relatively far away.
This afternoon, Simon Lane texted that 135+ Tundra Swans were at Boonton Reservoir. After comprehending the magnitude of this statement and catching one’s breath, this observer drove to the south end of the reservoir to view this historic event. A light rain did not deter. By the time the counting was done and then tallied again, 185 Tundra Swans were accounted for. Later, another 22 were seen along the north shore of the island bringing the grand total to 207.
The previous known high count for Tundra Swan in Morris County was 18 (as in eighteen) at Lake Musconetcong in 1990. 207 obliterates that number. This event was echoed in other parts of northern New Jersey, namely Hunterdon County, where Tundra Swans in the hundreds were also reported.
Otherwise, ducks are starting to file into the reservoir. A drake Red-breasted Merganser made it a merganser sweep at the north end of the reservoir joining both Common and Hooded Mergansers.
With the recent thawing of the major Morris County bodies of water, waterfowl are beginning to flood the region.
A drake Eurasian Wigeon found at the Lake Forest area of Lake Hopatcong on Feb. 23 by Rob Fanning was missed today. The Eurasian Wigeon was probably there but the water was thick with 434 Ring-necked Ducks, at least 32 American Wigeon and 7 Redhead along with Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Scaup spp. and Common and Hooded Mergansers in marginal viewing conditions (i.e., distance, wind, and a light rain). Nonetheless, this was an impressive sight after a winter of ice at the lake.
Interestingly, a drake Eurasian Wigeon was described from Silas Condict Park, Kinnelon on Feb. 23 (Jorge Mascaro).
Tom Justesen found 4 Redhead and 4 Common Goldeneye at Mt. Hope Lake along with other typical waterfowl of that site.
Lake Parsippany had two Horned Grebes today, one day after Rob Fanning found the first Horned Grebe of 2018 for Morris County. Likewise, the first Pied-billed Grebe of 2018 in Morris was also seen today. Tom Justesen found 2 Canvasbacks which became 3 a short time later. A Double-crested Cormorant was unexpected. Simon Lane found 3 Redheads later in the afternoon. The Common Merganser numbers have leveled off after a high count of 545 on Feb. 16.
The Somerset County Sandhill Cranes are favoring the Zaraphath corn fields along Weston Canal Road lately.
Up to 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers are regularly seen along the nature trail at Colonial Park, Franklin Township.
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