Condolences to all who have endured hardship over the past nine days as two epic storms battered the northeastern United States. Seriously, enough is enough.
A few highlight birds of late winter are currently in Morris County. Alex Bernzweig relocated the White-winged Scoter today at Budd Lake. This was first found on February 26 by Alan Boyd but has gone unreported recently.
A Red-necked Grebe found March 9 by Rob Fanning continues at the Lake Forest section, or north end, of Lake Hopatcong. Viewing is from the partially plowed Lake Forest Yacht Club parking area.
(Click on the photo for a larger image.)
Single Lesser Black-backed Gulls are being seen at Budd Lake and Lake Hopatcong.
Some may remember March 2 as the day the first Nor’easter pummeled our area this month. The annals of local bird records will remember March 2, 2018 as the day that 216 (!) Lesser Black-backed Gulls were tallied at Norz Farm Fields in Hillsborough Township (Frank Sencher, Jr.).This area has hosted large numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls in recent years. These gulls are likely the same ones seen at the Hunterdon County reservoirs.
The icing on the cake that day was an adult Iceland Gull seen with 500 Ring-billed Gulls and 25 Herring Gulls.
216 Lesser Black-backed Gulls is a Somerset County record for exactly one location. On May 30, 2017, Jeff Ellerbusch had 145 at Norz and another 96 a few miles away on Opie Road.
For your information, the state record for Lesser Black-backed Gulls is 713 at Spruce Run Reservoir, Hunterdon Co., on March 29, 2013. Mr. Sencher also tallied these. This is the known high count for North America, as well.
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