His Muskrat (Happy Meal) shot is above, His full report follows. (Thanks, Mike!)
Ray Duffy reports seeing four Rusty Blackbirds at DeKorte Park's Kingsland Overlook this morning just before 9:30. (Thanks, Ray!)
This bird is especially noteworthy because, as New Jersey Birding points out:
The Rusty Blackbird has been steeply declining with estimates of an 85-99% population drop over the past 40 years.
The cause for this alarming decline is not known and the increasingly sparse and patchy winter distribution of the Rusty Blackbird makes it challenging to learn more about distribution, abundance, and ecology as a basis for conservation efforts.
A "Rusty Blackbird Hotspot Blitz" begins in nine days.
More info follows.
Here is NJMC Staffer Jim Wright's latest "Nature Next Door" column for The South Bergenite's latest editions:
As readers of this column know well by now, the N.J. Meadowlands Commission’s DeKorte Park is a great place to go birding.
But did you know that it is also a great place to go cross-country skiing and – better yet – bird-watching while cross-country skiing.
When Lyndhurst got seven inches of snow last week, I took advantage of the opportunity and brought both my binoculars and cross-country skis to DeKorte Park.
"Took a walk on Disposal Road Saturday morning. About 100 yards in from the Valley Brook Avenue entrance [and DeKorte Park entrance] I flushed a male Ring-necked Pheasant.
"It ran into the phrag far quicker than I could snap a picture though. I've always heard them, but this was my first visual." (Thanks, Dave!)
We have had similar sightings this month as well. The photo ar right is from last March, when we did a longer post about Ring-necked Pheasants in the Meadowlands — one of the few places they exist in the wild in New Jersey.
Link to that post is here.