Monthly Archives: August 2009

August Bird Reports

082409: Neil Maruca reports: Meadowlands Highlights: Long-billed Dowitcher, Short-billed Dowitcher, Solitary Sandpiper, Yellow-crowned Night Heron

   In The Kingsland Impoundment at DeKorte Park on Sunday, there were 17 Dowitchers, 67 yellowlegs and 3 Solitary Sandpipers viewable from the parking lot , in addition to 100+ Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. The Dowitcher breakdown was 14 Short-billed (Atlantic subspecies), 1 Short Billed (Prairie Subspecies) and 2 Long-billed. The Yellowleg breakdown was
55 Lesser to 12 Greater, Solitary were in with the Lessers.

The Yellow Crown night heron was an adult, found in the marshes on the Secaucus bank of the Hackensack River, which had good shorebird counts also (60+ Semipalmated Plovers, 250+ Peep, 2 Solitary Sandpipers, both Yellowlegs). Had a candidate for a Baird's sandpiper (20% larger than the larger Semipalmateds, black legs, buffy/peach breast) but I lost sight of it in the reeds before I could confirm the wing extension and feather pattern on the back. 🙁

   (Thanks, Neil!)

Click "Continue reading…" for more August reports.

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Cicada Cacophony



    Here's a couple of new photos of a Cicada — one of the guys who has been making all that racket in the trees at DeKorte Park and elsewhere.

    More on Cicadas here.

   A nice recent New Jersey article on Cicada, crickets and Katydids is here.

Kevin Karlson Day — Thanks, Everyone!

IMG_3249   Thanks, Kevin, and all our participants for making "A Day With Kevin Karlson" such a success.

  We had an enthusiastic turnout of more than 70 in spite of really dubious weather, and we were rewarded with a most-informative bird walk that featured some solid birds  — and two engaging indoor presentations by author/photographer/birder-extraordinaire Kevin Karlson.

   It was a great day of birding in the Meadowlands. Thanks, all!

Kevin Karlson Day: Final Update

        Eastern Willet, TX, April largeWe are all set for Saturday at 8:30a.m., rain or shine.  If it is raining hard at 8:30, Kevin may do his "Birding by Impression" seminar first. We will do the walk as the weather allows.

    We have reduced the tidal flow to the nearest impoundment in hopes of having some mudflats regardless of tide.

   Other notes:  

   Bring your own lunch.  

   Directions to DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst are here.

   A limited supply of Kevin's book, "The Shorebird Guide" will be on sale at Environment Center Gift show for $17.95.   (List price is $24.95.)

   Only if you absolutely need to call:  Jim Wright's cellphone is 201-785-6604.

Crabs Du Jour


     We saw this Fiddler Crab (and an entire bluegrass festival's worth) along the Hackensack River recently. (We thank  Erik Kiviat for letting us tag along.)

    As we are learning, there are more than one type of Fiddler Crab around. According to NJMC naturalist Brett Bragin:

   "The diagnostic features to look for would be: 1) were there grooves on the carapace behind the eyes?  2) was it over 7/8" long?, 3) Did it have an oblique row of tubercles on the palm of the large claw?, and 4) did it have red joints? 

   "If yes, I would say it was Uca minax, the brackish-water fiddler crab (sometimes called the red-jointed fiddler crab).  If not, then it was probably the mud fiddler crab (Uca pugnax)."

   We are thinking the latter.

     More on Fiddler Crabs here

   Click "Continue reading…" for a photo of another kind of crab — photographed this week at the Visitor Center.

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Cormorant Beats the Heat

   In recent weeks we have run posts about a Double-crested Cormorant being rescued after getting its neck stuck in a tidegate (here) and battling an eel on the Hackensack River (here).
   Thought we'd post a nice shot of one just cooling off in one of the tidal pools at Harrier Meadow today. They're not always getting into trouble.

ID that Dove!


     A bit of controversy has developed over this dove, seen outside Harrier Meadow just before and after yesterday's walk.   

     One school of thought says that it is a released Turtle Dove. The other says it is a Eurasian Collared Dove. 

    More on both birds here.

     Care to weigh in?  Please do.

Harrier Meadow Walk 081809


     Tuesday's Harrier Meadow Walk, led by Don Torino of the Bergen County  Audubon Society, was a big hit despite the haze, heat and humidity.

    We had 25 intrepid participants on the 100-minute walk, and several interesting birds, including several shorebirds, plenty of egrets, a Black-crowned Night Heron and a controversial dove.  (More on the dove tomorrow.)

    We will post a full list when it is available. To those who attended this oven-hot walk, all we can say is "well-done" — in more ways than one.