This weekend could be a great time to visit DeKorte Park. The water levels in the Shorebird Pool have been lowered, and we are getting all sorts of great birds on the edges of the marsh and mudflats.
Among the sightings, a Sora yesterday and 2 Common Moorhens and several Pectoral Sandpipers today.
The trees are budding and many of the flowers are blooming. Ospreys and swallows abound.
Just don't let the Midges bug you, and watch out for ticks.
Map of Shorebird Pool with Common Moorhen location follows.
The folks at Spectrum for Living were nice enough to donate plenty of their custom-made and custom-painted Tree Swallow nesting boxes again this spring (it's their sixth year in a row), and many of the boxes already have tenants in Teal Pool in DeKorte Park.
More about Spectrum for Living in this earlier post, here. (Thanks, Spectrum For Living!)
To mark Earth Day, the Mistretta family quietly went down to Kearny Marsh and did their own annual clean-up.
Pam Mistretta writes: "[Daughter] Olivia made a convert this year–a young woman named Stephanie, who was with a fisherman, saw us picking up trash and joined in the effort; cool! "
She adds:"It's my hope a little parental encouragement will produce future environmentalists."
Great job by all! "Unofficial" clean-ups can work wonders, and to spend a little time on Earth Day giving back to the planet can't be beat.
What's with all those annoying little bugs at DeKorte and elsewhere these days?
They are midges, and the good news is they don't bite.
An earlier post about them here. That's a close-up of Midge "whiskers" on left.
Ray Duffy reports:
"This AM I got my first of year Orchard Oriole when visiting the bird banding at Harrier Meadow.
"In the afternoon, I took twenty minutes around DeKorte around 2:30pm, I got my first of year semipalmated sandpipers on the exposed mud during low tide.
"At 6:45, I visited Mill Creek Marsh. I found 2 families of Mallard ducklings, one group of 8 and one group of about 4.
"Schmidt’s Woods had a Northern Waterthrush. Other unfortunate arrivals for the year were ticks and mosquitoes." (Thanks, Ray!)
Thomas F. Yezerski, author of the enchanting new children's book "Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival story," will be giving two free talks and slide shows at DeKorte Park in the next two months.
The presentations are brought to you by the N.J. Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society.
The first, for adults, will be Tuesday, May 24 ,at 7 p.m. The second, for children age 6 and older and their families, will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 25.
Copies of the book will be for sale for a discounted price of $14.95 (please bring cash or check), and Tom would be happy to sign and inscribe them.
Listings info follows.
Lisa Cameron of the NJMC's Parks Division says:
"It's probably a naturalized crabapple…horizontal branching suggests that.
Possibly a flowering pear gone wild, though their braches are more upright and usually you would see others nearby." (Thanks, Lisa!)
This was blooming at the Kearny Marsh earlier this month. Do you know what it is?
A quick scouting trip for our Sunday walk to Losen Slote Park in Little Ferry showed that the site has a lot of birds and a lot of water.
The site is beautiful, with a gently flowing Losen Slote (Dutch for "Creek") and wonderful stands of birches, but there is some litter, some standing water, and the potential for bugs.
In other words, bring waterproof boots and bug spray. It's not so much as a guided walk as a guided adventure; nothing ventured, nothing gained.
We'll bring some trashbags and clean up the place a little while we are at it.
Birds I saw this morning included R.C. Kinglet, Palms (above) and Yellow-Rumps, Hermit Thrush, and the usual crowd of N. catbirds, Grackles, No. Mockingbirds, Bluejays and Red-winged Mockingbirds.
Photo of Losen Slote from this morning follows.
Don't miss our third annual Mother's Day walk in Ridgefield. The two-hour walk includes a trip to the Ridgefield Nature Center (at right; think warblers and a scarlet tanager if we're lucky), a visit to Skeetkill Creek Marsh andan optional stop to see the Monk Parakeets who nest on a bridge next to Railroad Avenue (above),
We had some great birds, including that tanager last year.
The blog post from last year, including bird list and photos, is here.
Full info below.