Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Ghost of the Meadowlands

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Wandering the trails and pathways of the Meadowlands as a young boy was what I loved more than anything in the world. So despite it being a soggy, windy morning, I would start this memorable Saturday many years ago no different, by exploring the marshland trails not far from my home.

I can remember as if it were yesterday, walking quickly through a trail with phragmites higher than my head as they bent over in the wind, the crisp, cold breeze in my face and the wet, muddy ground which allowed me to walk silently into an open clearing. There perched on top of an old snag no more than 20 feet away was a stately Gray raptor. We looked into each other’s eyes, not sure who was more startled.

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Where to See the Lapland Longspur

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Several people have asked where in DeKorte is the best place to look for the Lapland Longspur. The answer, courtesy of Ron Shields and Chris Takacs: From the Transco Trail in the area of the Marsh Discovery Trail intersection. Ron adds: The bird will feed/fly fifty yards east or west of this junction and usually hangs out with a small flock of house sparrows. It has been fairly easy to locate.

Lapping Up the Spotlight

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The Lapland Longspur photos keep pouring in. Thanks for these Steve Ceragno! As noted in previous posts, this winter visitor is a common songbird of the Arctic Tundra that winters across much of the U.S. The sparrow-like bird shows up in the Meadowlands on occasion and is not always easy to find.

For more info on the Lapland Longspur click here

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More Lapland Longspur Photos

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Here are some photos of DeKorte’s current star, the visiting Lapland Longspur, courtesy of Ron Shields. A common songbird of the Arctic Tundra, the Lapland Longspur winters across much of the U.S. The sparrow-like bird shows up in the Meadowlands on occasion and is not always easy to find, so now’s your chance!

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Welcome Lapland Longspur!

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The last week has seen dozens of sightings of the somewhat elusive Lapland Longspur in DeKorte Park. A common songbird of the Arctic Tundra, the Lapland Longspur winters across much of the U.S. The sparrow-like bird shows up in the Meadowlands on occasion and is not always easy to find. We hope our Longspur is here for a while!

For more info on the Lapland Longspur click here

Yesterday’s Disposal and DeKorte Walk

 

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A Bald Eagle, Kestrels, Red-Tailed Hawks and Buffleheads were among the species seen during yesterday’s BCAS Nature Walk along Disposal Road and at DeKorte Park. The Park has also been host to our visiting Lapland Longspur (more on this great winter migrant in a later post). The photo above shows the group watching a Bald Eagle overhead. Photos below courtesy of Joe Koscielny.

White-Crowned Sparrow

White-Crowned Sparrow

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Buffleheads

Buffleheads

 

Richard Crossley Talk Recap

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More than 100 people were treated last night to a lively talk and conversation with renowned field guide author Richard Crossley at the Meadowlands Environment Center. The British native and Cape May resident spoke about the differences between English and American birders and the need to raise awareness about birding in America. For instance, English birders take bird’s shape more than color into consideration when making identifications.

Crossley is the award winning author of “The Crossley ID Guide” series. For more information click here

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Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: A Testament to Protecting and Preserving Our Environment

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DeKorte Park

Some years back an old family friend who had moved away long ago came back home for a visit. He had been raised in Lyndhurst at a time when our Meadowlands was a much different place. Back then it was a place left for dead, the butt of jokes and a prime example of the worse things that could possibly be done to nature.

So when my family friend returned the first place I brought him to was DeKorte Park,  the ultimate example of the good things that could be done when people care about the Environment. Needless to say his reaction was a sense of disbelief.

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