N. Rough-winged Swallow, Bird Notes, Mar. 20, 2016

Northern Rough-winged Swallow in Great Swamp NWR

Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Great Swamp NWR, Mar. 20, 2016 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Great Swamp NWR, Mar. 20, 2016 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

In 2016, Tree Swallows first appeared in both Morris and Somerset Counties on March 9. Today, March 20, Jim Mulvey found the first Northern Rough-winged Swallow of the mocosocoBirds region for 2016 at the Great Swamp NWR at the pond near the North Gate.

Interestingly, this is only the second record of this species in New Jersey for 2016 according to the eBird database. The first was found yesterday, March 19, in Monmouth County (the other moco) by the dynamic duo of Scott Barnes and Linda Mack.


Boonton Reservoir

Heronry at Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Mar. 20, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Heronry at Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Mar. 20, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Morris County has a number of flourishing heronries. The herony at Boonton Reservoir is unique in that the Great Blue Herons share the island with an impressive, if not overwhelming, number of Double-crested Cormorants (the north side of the island is pictured in the above photo) .

The Double-crested Cormorants (DCCO) returned to the reservoir during the past week. 30+ were counted this morning. Many more are on their way in the next few weeks. As an indicator of how many DCCOs utilize this body of water, 435 DCCOs were counted at the reservoir in July of 2013. The Great Blue Heron count was a modest 16 this morning.

Adult Bald Eagles commuting from the Troy Meadows nesting site are occasionally seen roosting in the trees of the island. Great Egrets and an occasional Black-crowned Night Heron are visitors to the island. A different visitor paid this observer a surprise encounter this morning in the northwest section of the reservoir as seen in the photo below.

Peregrine Falcon, Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Mar. 20, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Peregrine Falcon, Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Mar. 20, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


Morris Lakes

The paltry waterfowl season of 2016 continues. The most interesting sighting at Lake Hopatcong on Saturday, Mar. 19 was a boat towing a water skier in 32 F degree weather at 7:10 AM. The lake was barren of water birds other than a pair of American Coot, a few Buffleheads, Pied-billed Grebes and a handful of gulls.

Lake Musconetcong did not fare better. Double-crested Cormorants returned this week as they are on every major body of water in the county now.

Mt. Hope Lake tallied 115 Ruddy Ducks, 25 Buffleheads, 4 Hooded Mergansers and a Pied-billed Grebe.

This morning, Lake Parsippany hosted only the second record of Red-breasted Merganser for 2016 in Morris County. 4 of the continuing Redheads remain. 100+ Ruddy Ducks are scattered across the lake.

Red-breasted Merganser, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Mar. 20, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Red-breasted Merganser, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Mar. 20, 2016 (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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


@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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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Horned Grebes, Tundra Swans, Morris Lakes – Mar. 13, 2016

Saturday March 12, 2016

Bufflehead in morning light, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Mar. 12, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Bufflehead in morning light, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Mar. 12, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

2 Horned Grebes at Lake Hopatcong and 3 at Budd Lake signal the beginning of Grebe season on Morris lakes, Saturday, March 12.

One Common Loon, a Greater Scaup drake, 43 Bufflehead, 2 Common Mergansers a quartet of Pied-billed Grebes and a few Mute Swans were all one could find on New Jersey’s largest lake. Boat season will pick up quickly in the next few weeks and Lake Hopatcong will become its people/boat-centric self throughout the spring and summer.

Other than the 3 Horned Grebes, 130 Ruddy Ducks plus a few Common Mergansers and distant Scaup sp., Budd Lake did not offer much in the diversity department.

84 Ruddy Ducks plus Gadwall, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead and Hooded Mergansers populated Mt. Hope Lake.

Lake Parsippany continues to host 10 Redheads. The Ruddy Duck total increased to 210.


Sunday March 13, 2016

Tundra Swans, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Mar. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Tundra Swans, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Mar. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

4 Tundra Swans (2 are in the above photo) mixed with Mute Swans, Ring-necked Ducks and Wood Ducks at a secluded, difficult to view section of Lake Denmark, Rockaway Twp. today. Other sightings include Common Raven, the resident adult Bald Eagles plus an alleged progeny, two Black Bears and a busy beaver.

Beaver, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Mar. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Beaver, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Mar. 13, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Bald Eagle, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Mar. 13, 2016 (Jonathan Klizas)

Bald Eagle, Rockaway Twp., NJ, Mar. 13, 2016 (Jonathan Klizas)


The Fish Tract in Florham Park had a small pool filled with 11 Am. Wigeon, 6 Am. Black Ducks, 50 Mallards, 12 Northern Pintail, 22 Green-winged Teal and 4 Killdeer.


Birders are out in force this weekend, and many of them are using eBird to post their checklists. eBird continues to grow into the most complete method of researching recent sightings. Links for Morris and Somerset County eBird listings are in the next section of this post.


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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


@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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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Late winter bird arrivals – Mar. 10, 2016

Blue-winged Teal, Bernardsville, NJ, Mar. 10, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Blue-winged Teal, Bernardsville, NJ, Mar. 10, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Mike Hiotis found these four Blue-winged Teal drakes in a Bernardsville pond this afternoon. This is approximately 10-14 days earlier than a typical Morris/Somerset average arrival date.

Eastern Phoebes and Tree Swallows are reported from various locations the past two days. These species are on the slightly early side of the arrival ledger as well. The unseasonable warmth of nearly 80 F degree weather this week is in sharp contrast to the brutal, unmerciful frigid weather of the previous two winters. The birds and the birders are not complaining.


Not a commonly occurring waterfowl in the Great Swamp NWR area, a Common Goldeneye was in Osborn Pond, March 8 (Jennifer Books, Jim Mulvey).

9 Redheads were in Lake Parsippany from March 6 through 8, seen by many observers.

Sandhill Cranes in varying numbers continue to be sporadically reported in the Weston Canal-Zarephath section of Franklin Township.


Snapping Turtle, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Mar. 10, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Snapping Turtle, Loantaka Brook Reservation, NJ, Mar. 10, 2016 (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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


@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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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Am. Woodcock, Ducks, other field notes – Feb. 29, 2016

Am. Woodcock, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 13, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas) (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Am. Woodcock, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Mar. 13, 2015 (photo by Jonathan Klizas) (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

(Click on the photo for a larger image.)

With the mild winter of 2016, there is no waiting this year for one of the true harbingers of spring, the calls and display flights of the American Woodcock. The snow is barely melted when these shorebirds begin to arrive. They are currently everywhere in suitable habitat in Morris and Somerset Counties. This writer had 9 last evening in a short stretch of Morris Township’s Washington Valley, and that was mostly from the car with the window open. Reports from elsewhere in the region echo the same experience.


After a dearth of ducks in the area throughout this winter, numbers of Anatidae are finally starting to grow.

300+ Common Mergansers were at Boonton Reservoir, Feb. 27 along with a drake Common Goldeneye.

350 Common Mergansers were at Lake Hopatcong, Feb. 28. Also present were 130 Ring-necked Ducks, 12 American Wigeon, 22 Bufflehead (low for this location) and 1 Common Loon.

The region’s Bald Eagles, at least those viewed recently, are apparently on eggs. The Duke Farms’ Bald Eagles are already on two eggs. The Duke Farms blog is here


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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and posts 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.


Finis


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Recent Bird Notes – Feb. 23, 2016

Tundra Swan, Lake Hopatcong, Feb. 22, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Tundra Swan, Lake Hopatcong, Feb. 22, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

3 Tundra Swans are south of the Brady Rd. bridge at Lake Hopatcong and 2 Common Goldeneye along with 125 Common Mergansers were seen near Nolans Point on Feb. 22. (Alan Boyd).


2 Common Goldeneye were at the north end of Boonton Reservoir, Feb. 21. A Redhead drake was seen at Clyde Potts Reservoir, Feb. 20.


After a disappearance of approximately one month, Sandhill Cranes are being seen at the Zaraphath corn fields on the Pillar of Fire property off of Weston Canal Road in Franklin Township (many observers). The number of cranes ranges from three to nine.


Grackle and Blackbird flocks are slowly growing in number; Common Mergansers will be evident on the Morris lakes once the ice melts in the next few weeks. American Woodcock are slowly returning to their usual areas. All-in-all, this winter gets marked as an uneventful bird season so far in Morris and Somerset Counties.


Bald Eagles are on eggs at Duke Farms, as are probably many of the nesting eagles in the area.

Jim Wright authored a free e-book about the eagles, available from the Duke Farms Blog.

The link for the Duke Farms Eagle Nest cam is here.


Eastern Chipmunks were out in relative force this past weekend. Not usually seen in February in the foothills of the Highlands, a fair number were seen out and about in Boonton and Montville Townships this past weekend. So much for being in a state of torpor with the mild winter this area has experienced.

Eastern Chipmunk, Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Feb. 21, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Eastern Chipmunk, Boonton Reservoir, NJ, Feb. 21, 2016 (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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


@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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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Redheads and other bird notes – Feb. 8, 2016

Redheads, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Feb. 8, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Redheads, Lake Parsippany, NJ, Feb. 8, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

(Click on the photo for a larger image).

15 Redheads were at Lake Parsippany today (Alan Boyd, Roger Johnson) along with a Ruddy Duck, 4 Common Mergansers, Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, and a single Great Black-backed Gull.

This along with the 14 Redheads that Alan photographed at Lake Hopatcong, Feb. 5, practically makes Redhead the most numerous Aythya species in Morris County at this time. This designation is usually reserved for Ring-necked Ducks which are nearly absent from the area this winter.


Pine Siskins are thinly scattered throughout New Jersey this season. The following Pine Siskin visited a feeder in Morris Twp., Sunday, Feb. 7. Three were reported from the same location the weekend of the Blizzard of 2016 (Jan. 23-24).

Pine Siskin, Morris Twp., Morris County, NJ, Feb. 7, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Pine Siskin, Morris Twp., Morris County, NJ, Feb. 7, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)


The Spackling Goose of Somerset County has returned to a favored location at Duke Island Park (Jim Mulvey). This is the fifth known winter of this beast returning to Somerset County. A post from 2013 describing this bleached-bodied goose is here.

Spackling Goose, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 8, 2016 (photo by Jim Mulvey)

Spackling Goose, Duke Island Park, NJ, Feb. 8, 2016 (photo by Jim Mulvey)


From Ken Hart:
“Heard 2 American Woodcocks “peenting” at 5:40 p.m. today at Fairview Farm, Larger Cross Rd, Bedminster, at the marshy end of the pond next to the parking lot. Soon after I heard the chittering of a flight display above.”


Red-headed Woodpeckers are widespread but local this winter. One is frequenting Duke Island Park. At least one immature has been cooperative for weeks near the bridge north of the south gate of Pleasant Plains Rd. in the Great Swamp NWR. The following photos are by Mike Newlon.

Red-headed Woodpecker, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 7, 2016 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Red-headed Woodpecker, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 7, 2016 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Here is a photo of another visitor to the Great Swamp.

Bald Eagle, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 7, 2016 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Bald Eagle, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Feb. 7, 2016 (photo by Mike Newlon)


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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


@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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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Sunday Bird Notes – Jan. 31, 2016

Contrasts

Weather
As warm as the sun felt today with a high temperature in the Morristown area of approximately 57 F degrees, this day does not come close to the Morristown record for January: 70 F degrees sixty-six years ago in 1950 on the approximate date of January 26.

The irony of the mild weather forecast this week is that most lakes and bodies of water in Morris County are either completely, or mostly, frozen. This is evidenced by the number of parka-clad ice fishermen on Lake Hopatcong this morning. The opportunistic Great Blue Heron in the photo below calmly waited for a free handout that eventually came its way.

Ice Fishermen at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 31, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Ice Fishermen at Lake Hopatcong, NJ, Jan. 31, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Of course, ice means that birds are scarce at New Jersey’s largest lake. 64 Mute Swans crowded the thin sliver of open water near Halsey Island along with a handful of American Coot and three Lesser Scaup. Gulls and crows were scattered over the ice.

Even the usually reliable dock areas that use pumps to keep the water from freezing are frozen and birdless.


All Things Birds Field Trip

11 participants plus 2 trip leaders took part in a New Jersey Audubon All Things Birds field trip to the Great Swamp NWR on Saturday, Jan. 30. The early morning temperature of 18 F degrees soon gave way to sunshine and warming temperatures.

Species variety is diminished in the Morris area, especially after last weekend’s blizzard. Highlights were good views of the stationary and continuing immature Red-headed Woodpecker at the bridge by the headquarter’s driveway; a hunting Merlin was a treat to see; and the resident Bald Eagles may be up to something this year


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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


@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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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January Birds – Jan. 29, 2016

Great Swamp NWR, January 2016

Raccoon, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 28, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Raccoon, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 28, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

January 23’s Blizzard of 2016 created roadside birding opportunities this week. If anyone wonders where White-throated Sparrows are this winter, drive along any quiet road in Harding Township and the Great Swamp NWR, peek down driveways and try to keep count of all the Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows crowded in the snow-cleared places. Hundreds of these two species were seen during a late afternoon drive today.

White-throated Sparrow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 26, 2016 (photo by Mike Newlon)

White-throated Sparrow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 26, 2016 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Fox Sparrows are well represented this winter.

Fox Sparrow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 24, 2016 (photo by Chris Thomas)

Fox Sparrow, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 24, 2016 (photo by Chris Thomas)

A Red-headed Woodpecker is regular at the bridge near the refuge headquarters by the south gate of Pleasant Plains Rd.

Raptors are scarce so far this winter but a Merlin is an occasional visitor this month.

Merlin, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 26, 2016 (photo by Mike Newlon)

Merlin, Great Swamp NWR, NJ, Jan. 26, 2016 (photo by Mike Newlon)

A Brown Thrasher and Gray Catbird were seen in the Swamp before last weekend’s storm, but not since although several Eastern Towhees continue (Chuck Hantis).

Brown Thrasher, Great Swamp NWR, Jan. 22, 2016 (photo by Chuck Hantis)

Brown Thrasher, Great Swamp NWR, Jan. 22, 2016 (photo by Chuck Hantis)


Other Birds

Redheads can be found where water is open, as exemplified by one at Clyde Potts Reservoir and two at Lake Hopatcong today (Alan Boyd).

Redhead, Clyde Potts Res., NJ, Jan. 29, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)

Redhead, Clyde Potts Res., NJ, Jan. 29, 2016 (photo by Alan Boyd)


Pine Siskins put in appearances at feeders in Morris Twp. and Brookside last weekend but are not reported since.



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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


@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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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32nd Southwest Morris Winter Bird Count – Jan. 17, 2016

Here are the results of the 32nd annual Southwest Morris Winter Bird Count, Sunday January 17, 2016. Weather conditions were cloudy skies with temperatures reaching the 38 degree Fahrenheit range as the day progressed. A light snow fell in the mid-to late afternoon as the temperature dropped.

81 species were tallied. The continuing Long-tailed Duck of Clyde Potts Reservoir is a first-time occurrence for the count.

Chester is the center point for the count circle. Most of the routes are in Morris County. A few routes spill into Warren and Sussex Counties.

The following compilation and notes are by the count’s founder, David Harrison. Significant species, whether found or missed, are in bold letters.

Cackling Goose – 1 (only the 3rd time on count)
Canada Goose – 6423
Mute Swan – 25
Wood Duck – 1
Gadwall – 10
American Wigeon (missed for only the 11th time on count)
American Black Duck – 38
Mallard – 231 (lowest total ever)
Northern Pintail (missed for only the 9th time on count)
Green-winged Teal – 17
Ring-necked Duck – 89
Greater Scaup – 1 (only the 4th time on count)
Lesser Scaup – 10 (only the 8th time on count)
Long-tailed Duck – 1 (first time ever on count)
Bufflehead – 4
Common Goldeneye – 1
Hooded Merganser – 99 (new high count)
Common Merganser – 245 (new high count)
Ruddy Duck – 59
Wild Turkey – 37
Ring-necked Pheasant – 1
Pied-billed Grebe – 2 (only the 9th time on count)
Great Blue Heron – 8
Black Vulture – 35
Turkey Vulture – 43
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1
Cooper’s Hawk – 5
Bald Eagle – 6 (new high count and only the 10th time on count)
Red-shouldered Hawk (missed for only the 10th time on count)
Red-tailed Hawk – 22
American Coot – 4
Killdeer – 10
Wilson’s Snipe – 2
Ring-billed Gull – 890
Herring Gull – 262
Lesser Black-backed Gull – 1 (only the 3rd time on count)
Great Black-backed Gull – 6
Rock Pigeon – 113
Mourning Dove – 184
Eastern Screech Owl – 8
Great Horned Owl – 8
Barred Owl – 3
Long-eared Owl – 1 (only the 7th time on count)
Belted Kingfisher – 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 66
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 4
Downy Woodpecker – 68
Hairy Woodpecker – 17
Northern Flicker – 7
Pileated Woodpecker – 14 (new high count)
Merlin – 1 (only the 6th time on count)
Blue Jay – 357
American Crow – 1567
Fish Crow – 297 (new high count)
Common Raven – 3 (only the 9th time on count)
Horned Lark (missed for only the 9th time on count)
Black-capped Chickadee – 110
Tufted Titmouse – 127
Red-breasted Nuthatch (missed for only the 8th time on count)
White-breasted Nuthatch – 98
Brown Creeper – 4
Winter Wren – 6
Carolina Wren – 15
Golden-crowned Kinglet – 1 (lowest total ever)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (missed for only the 4th time on count)
Eastern Bluebird – 80
Hermit Thrush – 5
American Robin – 1224
Gray Catbird – 4
Northern Mockingbird – 8
European Starling – 420
Cedar Waxwing – 32
Yellow-rumped Warbler (missed for only the 3rd time on count)
American Tree Sparrow – 40 (lowest total ever)
Field Sparrow – 1
Fox Sparrow – 4
Dark-eyed Junco – 703
White-throated Sparrow – 194
Song Sparrow – 86
Swamp Sparrow – 6
Northern Cardinal – 86
Red-winged Blackbird – 251
Rusty Blackbird (missed for only the 3rd time on count)
Common Grackle – 7400
Brown-headed Cowbird (missed for only the 6th time on count)
House Finch – 104
Purple Finch – 4
Pine Siskin – 3
American Goldfinch – 44
House Sparrow – 229

Significant birds (both missed and found) are based on species that were previously found only on about 1/3 of the counts (for significant finds) or at least 2/3 of the counts (for significant misses). I consider it a minor miss if a bird had been seen on about 1/3 of previous counts. Those species were as follows: Ruffed Grouse (11), Northern Harrier (16), American Kestrel (17), Savannah Sparrow (11), White-crowned Sparrow (13) and Eastern Towhee (12). Ruffed Grouse will fall out of this category soon but it will take a few more years before Kestrel does (it has been on over half of the counts).

Total number of species – 81 (previous 10-year mean and median was 84, but 32-year averages were about 79). Misses=9; Good finds=9.

Overall, I’d say an average year and much better than last year. I find the sparrow situation the most troubling, particularly the long-time downward trend for Tree Sparrow.

– Dave Harrison


Below is a photo of David Harrison wearing the same crew neck sweater he has worn for all 32 years of the Southwest Morris Winter Bird Count.

David Harrison and The Sweater, Chester, NJ, Jan. 17, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

David Harrison and The Sweater, Chester, NJ, Jan. 17, 2016 (iPhone photo by Jonathan Klizas)

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Saturday Bird Notes – Jan. 16, 2016

Long-tailed Duck with Common Mergansers, Clyde Potts Reservoir, Mendham Twp., NJ, Jan. 16, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

Long-tailed Duck with Common Mergansers, Clyde Potts Reservoir, Mendham Twp., NJ, Jan. 16, 2016 (photo by Jonathan Klizas)

A Long-tailed Duck continues today at Clyde Potts Reservoir, Mendham Twp., for the eighth known day. It keeps company with the 212 Common Mergansers in the reservoir.

Another Long-tailed Duck was found at Nolans Point, Lake Hopatcong yesterday, Jan. 15 . Three Tundra Swans were also on the ice north of Nolans Point (Alan Boyd).

This morning, two adult Tundra Swans were on the ice at Lake Forest, Lake Hopatcong, when nearby ice fishermen apparently caused them to fly south towards the Brady Road Bridge. The two Tundra Swans were later found in Van Every Cove, viewed from the concrete pier at Mt. Arlington Beach. A Common Loon was also in the area.


Red-headed Woodpeckers continue to be wide-spread in Morris and Somerset Counties this season.

Three are reported from Troy Meadows Rd., in Troy Meadows today (David Hall). These birds are present since autumn 2015.

One was seen at Duke Island Park earlier today (Susan Treesh).

Other Red-headed Woodpeckers are at Lord Stirling Park, Great Swamp NWR, Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area in Morris, Colonial Park in Franklin Twp., etc.

Below is a screenshot of an eBird species range map of Red-Headed Woodpecker in the Morris-Somerset Area for January 2016. Clicking on the image takes you to the actual eBird range map. Type New Jersey in the location text box and select the Show Points Sooner check box on the right-hand sidebar. Drill down to view regional Red-headed Woodpecker occurrences in 2016.

Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2016

Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2016


The 32nd annual Southwest Morris Winter Bird Count will take place, tomorrow, Jan. 17, 2016. Results of the count will be published here as they become available.  More importantly, will David Harrison, founder and compiler of the count, wear the same crew neck sweater for the 32nd consecutive year? Stay tuned.


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 mocosocoBirds.com website.


@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.

The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.


Finis


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