Audubon Magazine's blog, The Perch, has been posting updates about a nifty birding challenge: Several birders nationwide, including NJMC Naturalist Mike Newhouse and Meadowlands ace birder Chris Takacs, have been trying to see a different bird species a day for as many days as they can, beginning on Jan. 1.
For your own amusement, you could start your own bird-a-day list now and see how long you can keep going. It sounds simple at first, but involves some strategizing — you don't want to "use" a common bird for the bird o' the day unless you are desperate.
The link to Audubon Magazine's blog post by Rene Ebersole (Mike Newhouse is her hubby) explaining all about the contest is here. Her latest post, detailing birds seen so far, is here.
A link to The Perch's main page is here.
Mike Newhouse's list to date follows — most of them are from the Meadowlands.
A quick Thursday afternoon trip to the Kearny Marsh in advance of Sunday's walk found 15+ American Coots, several Common Mergs (skittish as ever), 4 Hooded Mergs, a Red-tail, a Great Blue Heron and Black Ducks among the Mallards and Canada Geese. Plus lots of American Crows — always good to see.
Note: Access is limited to piles of plowed snow. You have to climb up a 5-foot-high snow embankment to get to the marsh. Footing wasn't too bad but did require some dexterity.
A reminder: Our special Valentine's Day Weekend Walk is at 10 a.m. this Sunday at 10 a.m.
We will look for wintering waterfowl at DeKorte, plus Rough-legs and Northern Harriers and other raptors on Disposal Road — with a quick optional trip to the Kearny Marsh to look for coots and moorhens.
Who knows? Maybe we'll get lucky and see another Bald Eagle, like last weekend. Or a Ring-necked Pheasant — they've been seen and heard a lot lately.
Word to the wise. Dress warmly. It can get windy. More information on the Tuesday walk will be posted on Monday.
Details on Sunday's walk follow.