Out all day Friday, April 19, this writer returned home sometime in the afternoon with text messages from friends referring to an alleged Black-headed Grosbeak submitted to eBird that day from a private home in Morris County. Reading the checklist, I opened the map and, by gosh, it’s barely over a mile from my house on Kemble Mountain on the other side of the ridge!
Emails between the homeowner, Sam Galick, and I gave credence to the remarkable report. The homeowner, Andrew (Andy) Boulcott graciously invited me to observe the bird at his house at 17 Forest Drive, Morristown. Alright, a geographical lesson: it is actually in Morris Township, a separate municipality from Morristown, but the township lacks a post office and zip code, so our searchable and mailing addresses are Morristown.
The male Black-headed Grosbeak (BHGR) was also gracious to give a long, continuous appearance. It does so today, Saturday, April 20 as well.
Andy and his wife were asked if it was okay for public notice of the BHGR on the various New Jersey social media venues, and they both agreed. Andy is from Sussex, England, his father is a birder, so he understands birders. The possible consequence of people in their yard was gently explained to them, but they still agreed.
If you go, please follow these directions. Park on the road. Do not block the driveway. Walk up the cobblestone-like driveway. The small tree with the feeder that the BHGR frequents is at the end of the driveway. The BHGR is easily viewable from there. Be kind; be respectful. There is no need to wander on their property.
This represents the 25th New Jersey record of Black-headed Grosbeak and the third for Morris County. It is also the latest in spring that this species is recorded in the state.
eBirders note: a hotspot is created for the BHGR. Please use stakeout Black-headed Grosbeak, (17 Forest Dr., Morristown). The URL is https://ebird.org/hotspot/L9077802
Many thanks to the generosity and kindness of the Boulcotts for allowing people to view this special bird on their property.
An adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron continues at Fairview Farm, Bedminster along with an American Bittern (Apr. 20).
Tim Vogel reports a female Long-tailed Duck at Cook’s Pond, Denville yesterday, April 19. This species has a penchant for showing up in unexpected places.
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