Join the Bergen County Audubon Society for a guided walk at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus, this Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon, to look for ducks, raptors and other winter birds. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201-230-4983. Hope to see you there!
On Thursday Don Torino’s column focused on our recent visitor, the Lapland Longspur. Don reports that Rick Wright, author of the “Field Guide to the Birds of New Jersey had more to add about the Laplong Longspur:
“The Lapland Longspur is one of the most abundant songbirds in the northern hemisphere, breeding across the entire Arctic from Scandinavia (whence the evocative name) through Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.
It’s also one of the most strongly migratory, wintering south to China, Korea, and Japan in the Old World and over most of the United States. One of the great oddities in this chunky sparrow-like bird’s winter distribution is that it is probably scarcest where birders are most abundant: namely, in western Europe and eastern North America.
Flocks of many thousands are a familiar sight on the snowy Great Plains, with records of aggregations totaling up to four million! But here in the mid-Atlantic, most of us are lucky to see half a dozen a winter, usually tucked into swirling flocks of Horned Larks and Snow Buntings on windswept beaches and snowy farm fields.
Like those two species, longspurs rarely stay put for more than few minutes, making this winter’s reliable Meadowlands bird all the more notable.
Ron Shields noticed a resemblance to a certain baseball team with the Northern Pintails he photographed yesterday at DeKorte. Ron writes, “I love their classic appearance…..kind of like the Yankees’ pinstripe uniform.” Ron also notes that now is a great opportunity to photograph these birds at DeKorte, as the ice pushes them closer to land during the winter months.
Dennis Cheeseman took advantage of the un-winterlike weather today and got these great shots at the Clay Avenue Wetlands and DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. Thanks Dennis!
Check out Jim Wright’s Bird Watcher column in today’s Record about the Where Eagles Fly program this Saturday at Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge. The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., includes talks on the comeback of the Bald Eagle, including in the Meadowlands, and tours of the historic Steuben House at New Bridge Landing, where George Washington retreated from the British during the Revolutionary War.
Members of program co-sponsor Bergen County Audubon Society will be on hand to point out eagles from New Bridge Landing. For more info click here.
Sometimes watching birders is almost as much fun as watching the birds themselves. Recently birders from all over descended upon DeKorte Park and surrounded a tiny but very cooperative visitor from the far north, the Lapland Longspur.
As this deceptively beautiful bird went about its business, ignoring the overwhelming snapping of the birding paparazzi, scopes, binoculars, cameras and people in every imaginable description were strewn across the trail from every possible angle and configuration in hopes of getting a better glimpse of the rare visitor to the Meadowlands. But what was the fascination? Sure there are prettier birds or even more rare species to be found.
Very informative story in The Record yesterday about the 100th Anniversary of the Lyndurst Kingsland Explosion of 1917 and resulting widespread fires as a result of espionage by German spies at a township ammunition depot.
According to the story, the bombing at the edge of the Meadowlands was part of a nationwide campaign of bombings at chemical factories and ammunition depots organized by the German government to slow American arms shipments to Russia and Great Britain and was one of the factors that led America to enter World War I.
Join the Bergen County Audubon Society for a guided walk at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus, next Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon, to look for ducks, raptors and other winter birds. For more information email email@example.com or call 201-230-4983. Hope to see you there!