Tree Swallows are invading the Meadowlands these days and snapping up all the available housing. NJMC naturalists are erecting more nesting boxes the marshes, starting this week.
The two Bald Eagles were definitely the stars of Wednesday's early afternoon walk along the Transco Trail at DeKorte Park — especially when the gulls challenged them — but we also saw plenty of ducks in the Shorebird Pool.
These included a raft of at least 30 Buffleheads (part of the raft is below) with a Ring-necked Duck thrown in, and another raft of 100+ Ruddy Ducks way in the back. Also had Tree Swallows and a Killdeer or two.
Later in the Saw Mill Creek Tidal Impoundment, we had a raft of 40+ Canvasbacks.
Although the Marsh Discovery Trail is closed, the Transco Trail is currently open from end to end, and affords solid views of several impoundments.
We took a late lunch today, and so did these two adult Bald Eagles. They opted for fish, and chose to dine in the Saw Mill Creek Tidal Impoundment, along the Transco Trail not far from the (currently closed) entrance to the Marsh Discovery Trail.
The eagles were seen around 1 p.m., and again at 1:15 in the same area. The gulls on the left were not happy and harassed one of the eagles, below.
We'll try to post another pic of two later.
Chris Takacs reports: "Over the last couple of days in DeKorte Park and the surrounding areas, I saw 6-9 Greater Yellowlegs (2 at Clay Ave. Wetlands Tuesday), 1 Female Common Goldeneye, 6-9 White-crowned Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warbler – first I've seen there this spring – Osprey along Disposal Rd. perched eating fish, 100+ Shovelers." (Thanks, Chris!)
Ray Duffy reports seeuing his First-of -the-year Osprey perched near Chubb Avenue in Lyndhurst. (Thanks, Ray!)
We know that some people hate seeing photos of snakes, so you'll have to click the "Continue reading…" line below to see some really nifty photos that Laura Machuca of the Meadowlands Conservation Trust took of a coil of Garter Snakes at Skeetkill Creek Marsh Park in Ridgefield last Thursday. (Thanks, Laura!)
The MCT was doing some marsh maintenance when Laura saw the snakes, thought to be a bunch of males just coming out of hibernation and hanging out in hopes of finding a female.
Highlights included Cedar Waxwings right outside the Meadowlands Environment Center, White-crowned Sparrows (near the DeKorte Entrance and along the Shorewalk), a Brown Creeper. five Northern Harriers, plus a heard Ring-Necked Pheasant. They also looked for the Northern Shrike and Boat-tailed Grackle on Disposal Road but came up empty.
The group caught up with the First Weekend of Spring Walk at Laurel Hill and got the Common Bald Eagle and cormorants.
As one of the young birders called it an "awesome birding adventure," adding: "We got lifers and also learned a lot."
The adults learned a lot as well.
Chris Takacs reported seeing seven Greater Yellowlegs near the Carillon on the Transco Trail, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler on the Kingsland Overlook, on Monday a.m. More of same on the way. (Thanks, Chris!)
Rob Fanning reported two fly-over Wilson's Snipes by DeKorte Park on Sunday morning, and Ray Duffy reported seeing one Sunday evening.
Writes Ray: "The snipe was on the shore of the Teal Pond by the path out to the powerlines. It flew out towards the Kingsland Impoundment and I didn't see it again." (Thanks, Rob and Ray!)
Highlights included a Bald Eagle, one of the nesting Common Ravens, American Wigeon, Northern Flicker and a half-dozen Great Cormorants.
Bergen County Audubon led this walk, and Chapter President Betrh Goldberg filed the report and pic. (Thanks, Beth!)
Full list follows.
The Killdeer are all over Disposal Road these days — on the ground and in the air and shouting up a storm.
We did a column about Killdeer for The South Bergenite earlier this month.
Here it is:
Officially, spring arrives on March 20 at 1:32 p.m., but signs of the changing season are in the air in the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s DeKorte Park and elsewhere in the region.
Already, Red-Winged blackbirds can be seen and heard as they call from their phragmites perches, and a distinctive shorebird called the Killdeer has been making an early appearance at one of its favorite hangouts, near the AMVETS Carillon on Disposal Road.
Kevin Bolton digiscoped this photo of the Boat-Tailed Grackle this weekend on one of the transmission towers on Disposal Road. (Thanks, Kevin!)
Kevin's photography blog is here.