It’s not too early to mark your calendar for the 5th annual Meadowlands Festival of Birding, sponsored by the Meadowlands Commission. The event is set for Saturday Sept. 13 and Sunday Sept. 14. (Above photo was taken at the Kearny Marsh.)
We saw these birds in the Kingsland Tidal Impoundment Wednesday while walking along the Marsh Discovery Trail. Could not get closer, but the educated guess is that they are short-billed dowitchers. They have also been seen at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus. If you thave any significant sightings anywhere in the Meadowlands, please let us know. If you would be willing to share a digital photo or two, even better.
It’s a bird! It’s a butterfly! No, wait — it’s a hummingbird clear-wing moth. These moths may not be a big deal to longtime birders and insect lovers, but this is one neat bug, and it can be seen throughout the region these days. The one pictured here was photographed at the butterfly garden at DeKorte Park by NJMC staffer Marc Schrieks.
One of the many cool and useful projects done by the Meadowlands Commission’s scientific arm, MERI (the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute), is aerial photography done from balloons.
The photo above was taken last Thursday along the Hackensack River looking north between the Upper Hackensack lift bridge and the HX drawbridge. The two railroad bridges cross the Hackensack between Lyndhurst and Secaucus.
More on MERI here. More on the aerial photography here.
Losen Slote Creek Park is a great place for a hike, and during May and autumn, a good spot to catch warblers moving through. The 28-acre park seemed a bit overlooked — perhaps because it's off the beaten path. The first part of the park is woods, then meadows. The trail is blazed with red-dotted markers, with Mehrhof Woods fenced off to the left and houses in the distance to your right. That's good to know in case you lose your way. If you keep the houses on your left and the fence on your right, you'll find your way back. But bring a cellphone, just in case. The meadows portion is a bit overgrown and easy to get lost in, but filled with dragonflies and an occasional butterfly. If you wander around long enough, you'll come across the slow-moving Losen Slote ("slote" being Dutch for "creek.") On a recent visit, the bird of the day was an Indigo Bunting that zipped through the meadow portion. Standing in the meadow, you feel as though you are in the wild – despite being in heart of Bergen County. Click here and here for more information.
Click "Continue reading" for more images from Losen Slote Creek Park.
The impoundment next to the Meadowlands Environment Center at DeKorte Park Plaza in Lyndhurst is a great spot to watch egrets — especially when water levels are low. But when the impoundment fills with water, the egrets have had no place to perch — until now. Last week, NJMC naturalists imported several sturdy branches and sunk them into the mud, in hopes they will attract egrets? The question now is, how will the egrets respond? Stay tuned.