One of the nifty aspects of a walk with a larger group is that there are so many sets of eyes. Highlights of the Mill Creek guided walk yesterday included a slow-moving Garter Snake out sunning itself. (Thanks, Lillian, for pointing it out!)
Because some folks can't stand photos of snakes we are posting this on the jump.
We have tallies through February for many of the eight folks involved in the Meadowlands Big Year.
Congrats to all for competing. We hope you are having fun close to home, and seeing lots of great birds.
Keep in mind that some birders are in the Meadowlands all the time, and others get here occasionally, so their birdage may differ.
(These are unofficial numbers, and obviously change all the time.)
If you're name's not on the list, please e-mail Jim Wright at jim.wright (at) njmeadowlands.gov. It's not too late to participate!
Here is the leader board, with the January total in parentheses):
1. Chris Takacs: 76 secies (67 as og Jan. 31, lives in district; counting birds within district boundaries, not district towns)
1. Julie McCall: 76 (66 species, lives in district)
3. Mike Newhouse 72, (66, NJMC naturalist, setting a target number for competitors)
4. Jim Wright 70 (54, NJMC staff, ineligible)
5. Doug Morel: 67 (53, out of district)
6. Ray Duffy: 66 (51, lives in district)
7. Ramon and Lillian of West New York: 55 (40 species, out of district)
8. Dennis Cheeseman: 52 (31, out of district)
Have not heard from one birder … Still time for any to join the fun!
Ron Shields took an amazing action sequence of the Great Blue Heron catching a fish in more ways than one last week.
Writes Ron: "Attached please find a series of images from Wednesday afternoon featuring the local Great Blue Heron demonstrating its unique fishing abilities in the cove at the beginning of the Marsh
"I'm assuming the meal is a [former] bluegill."
The sequence goes from speared fish to the fish tossed in the air to the fish caught between the bill.
The photos are a little raw, so to speak, and possibly not for the overly squeamish, so we will post the "food chain" shots on the jump.