Monthly Archives: October 2008

RAPTOR: ID help requested

   We have been getting all sports of Kestrels, Redtails, Ospreys and Harriers along Disposal Road, but the guy in the photo above took us by surprise the other day.
   We were at the beginning of the Saw Mill Creek Trail when this guy flew past, within 20 feet of us.
   He flew down the trail and landed on a rock by the tidal impoundment on the right.
   He is an accipiter, we figure, but need help. He (she) was fairly large. Any suggestions?



  That migrating Peregrne Falcon that was headed in our direction a week ago instead took a route to the east, flying over water to miss the metro area and later flying over the ocean again to take the shortest route south.
   The falcon is now in the Florida Keys.

   Read more here.


IMG_1880   The 42-acre Erie Landfill in North Arlington — between Disposal Road and Harrier Meadow — is about to get a new life.
   The Meadowlands Commission announced this week that it is seeking information from firms interested in designing, financing and operating a solar array on the landfill. The 5-megawatt installation would be the state's largest.

    Read The Record's article about the plan here.

    Click on "Continue reading …" for more information.

Continue reading

HARRIER MEADOW: November walks announced

  IMG_1473-1    The Meadowlands Commission is happy to announce three free Harrier Meadow guided walks in November.

 There will be two Wednesday morning walks, at 9 a.m. on Nov. 12 and Nov. 19, and one Saturday morning walk at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 15 – all open on a first-come, first-accepted basis, and space is limited.

 NJMC Naturalist Michael Newhouse will lead the weekday walks. Communications Officer Jim Wright will lead the Saturday walk – but be aware that while Jim knows the site, he is not an expert birder.

   On the last walks we saw plenty of raptors and waterfowl, including the American Kestrel above.

   We are also open to suggestions and requests.  Those who sign up a walk will be notified and updated. Note: You will be required to sign a limited liability release …

    If you are a teacher or member of a nature group that would like a group Harrier walk, e-mail Jim. …

BIRDING: Amazing Flickers


     With winter approaching, these large migratory woodpeckers seem to be extra busy these days. We photographed this guy in the North Arlington.
     Curious fact of the day: Northern Flickers have incredibly long tongues — the better to catch ants and other insects with.
   More on Northern Flickers here.

BANDING REPORT: 101308-101708

  Last week was another amazing week for bird-Img_7726_3banding in North Arlington, with 574 birds banded  — including more than 150 Savannah Sparrows — a threatened species in New Jersey and a bird we at the Meadowlands Commission are especially interested in.

   Click here for all bird banding reports. 

   Click "Continue reading…" immediately below for more information and this week's tally.

Continue reading


   We are thinking that this flying fish must have been taking a swim when it was snagged by an enterprising Osprey.

   The pair were photographed over the Saw Mill Creek Trail in North Arlington. BTW, an NJMC naturalist said the fish in question is likely a weakfish.  (And getting weaker by the minute.)

   Click here for a couple more shots of the Osprey and his finny find.

Continue reading

INSECTS: Trifecta


   We've had some nifty insects in North Arlington and Lyndhurst this past      we1 praying mantisek, including:
    1. A praying mantis hanging out on the PSE&G substation fence in North Arlington.
    He greeted several people last weekend as they returned from a walk in Harrier Meadow.

    Click here for more on praying mantises.

 IMG_1529-12. We saw this muscular grasshopper on  the Marsh Discovery Trail in Lyndhurst.
   It had hoppe
d out of the phragmites and was sitting on the boardwalk and sunning himself while his friend the ant was elswhere, storing u food for the winter.

IMG_1630-1  3. We saw this crane fly in the NJMC administration building. Someone had said there was a giant mosquito in one of the stairwells.

   As it turns out, these guys are harmless do not bite. (And yes, we took it outside and released it,)

                                  More on crane flies here