Monthly Archives: February 2012

Thursday’s Laurel Hill Walk: The List


Fourteen of us  went to Laurel Hill to look for American Woodcocks and Common Ravens last evening — with great success.

The guided walk, sponsored by the N.J. Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society, found the ravens at their nest at 5 and the woodcocks in the weeds/bushes about 6:05 p.m. — located in the underbrush before the first parking lot on the left.

Although we did not see the woodcocks, we sure did hear them — peenting on the ground and then chirping as the males did their courtship dances.  We estimated at least five woodcock — and heard at least 10 courtship displays.

We also had at least 28 Black-crowned Night Herons leaving their rost.

A beautiful early spring evening, and a walk definitely out of the ordinary.

Thanks to all who participated.

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Bird Report: Kearny Marsh

Went to the Kearny Marsh on our lunch hour on Wednesday and saw quite a few good birds on  awalk along the railroad tracks overlooking the marsh.

Highlights included: A raft of 100+ Ruddy Ducks, a few Common Mergansers, a dozen American Coots, an adult Bald Eagle soaring above the marsh and — on the way back to DeKorte Park — a Peregrine Falcon flying just to the east of Schuyler Avenue.

Full list follows.

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Our Latest South Bergenite Column: Local Wintering Birds

Jim Wright, who keeps this blog, also writes a twice-monthly nature column for The South Bergenite. His latest column is on birds that have been wintering in the Meadowlands this season.


  “Is that heron supposed to be here?”

   I’ve gotten that question on many Meadowlands Commission guided walks this winter — two seconds after folks see one of these stately birds in a marsh and do a double-take.

After all, great blue herons are regarded around here as a bird seen in the warmer months — not on most winter walks down DeKorte Park’s Marsh Discovery Trail.

  When I reply that we have seen more great blues and other warmer-weather birds this winter, the follow-up question is invariably either: “Why?”

  NJMC Naturalist Mike Newhouse is happy to provide us with the answer.  

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‘Focus on the Meadowlands’: Brown Creeper and more


This week's "Focus on the Meadowlands" post on the blog features a new trifecta of photos:

* The answer to our latest Tuesday Teaser (Brown Creeper; congrats to Pam Mistretta, the first to get the ID).

*A closeup of a Disposal Road Snow Bunting.

* A look at the redesigned Transco Trail entrance to DeKorte Park's newly reopened Marsh Discovery Trail.

The link is here.

Teaser Deciphered, Sort of


Unless you happened to go on the Super Bird Sunday walk earlier this month, this was one tough teaser. 

The question was, "What's unusual about this photo?"

The answer is: "There's a bird in it."

And it's a well-camouflaged bird at that, and kind of creepy. It has its ups and downs.

Full answer later.


Yesterday’s Walk: Highlights and a Pic or Two


We had a great turnout for our Third Tuesday of the walk, held this month in Harrier Meadow in North Arlington, a 70-acre natural area usually closed to the public.

It was great to see so many new faces and so many familiar ones as well. The birds weren't chopped liver either.


Highlights included lots of Red-tails and Northern Harriers (they didn't call it Harrier Meadow by chance), a wide range of ducks, a Belted Kingfisher, a Great Egret, three Killdeer and a couple of Great Blues.

Also had a late Bald Eagle (photo courtesy of Mike Girone; thanks, Mike!)

Full list follows, with a bonus pic of our favorite bird (so long as it is flying away). Just kidding. More or less.

(Separate post because of technical glitches).


Bonus Walk: Woodcock and Ravens, Laurel Hill, Thursday


Want to hear (and hopefully see) American Woodcocks peenting and possibly displaying?

The Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society are holding a free bonus walk this Thursday at Laurel Hill in Secaucus.

We'll meet in the ballfields parking lot at Laurel Hill at 5 p.m., or you can meet in DeKorte Park's visitor's parking lot and follow Jim Wright — he'll be leaving DeKorte at 4:30 p.m.

We will also look for the Laurel Hill ravens and any other interesting birds we can find.

Directions to Laurel Hill are on the left-hand side of this blog.

Briefing peenting audio is here (might have to turn up the volume):

Download DS_20071.

To rsvp, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at or 201-230-4983. (And a big thanks for the Am. Woodcock illustration to BCAS!)


Last Friday’s Walk: Pic and highlights


We were remiss in not posting this sooner…

Don Torino reports: "Had a great walk today We had 23 participants… Some of the highlights were over a hundred Canvasbacks, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Harrier and, to top it off, a Bald Eagle at the end." 

(Thanks, Don, and thanks to Marie Longo for the photo!)

Full list from Friday is below — we'll post the list from today's walk tomorrow…

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