Monthly Archives: September 2009


IMG_6734     Jewelweed is blooming all along the trail by the Kearny Marsh at Gunnell Oval.

   The plant is also called a "Touch-Me-Not" or Popper.

   The reason: When you touch the seed pod  (lower right), the pod pops and the seed goes flying — an ingenious way to transport seeds away from the plant.

   Jewelweed is native, and very popular with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

  It is used to treat Poison Ivy.

  More Jewelweed here and here.


Everything’s Pointing To a Great Bird Fest Tomorrow


    The tidegates at the Shorebird Pool have been closed at low tide. Already, the Great Egrets are chilling and IMG_6816 fishing, and lots of shorebirds are foraging in the shallows and mud.

   Meanwhile, by Harrier Meadow, the American Kestrels are back and hunting up a storm.

   Click here for more on the Sixth Annual Festival of Birding, which begins tomorrow at DeKorte Park.

Aerial Photos of Harrier Meadow


     The Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI), the Meadowlands Commission's research arm, took several nifty aerial photographs of Harrier Meadow last week — with a helium balloon.

     Harrier Meadow is a Saturday destination for this weekend's Meadowlands Festival of Birding.

   Click here for earlier blog posts on MERI's amazing work.

    Click "Continue reading …" for another aerial photo looking south from Erie Landfill, plus a couple of photos of the camera-equipped helium balloon being sent aloft.

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More Noteworthy Upcoming Events

   We have a full slate of events over the next couple of weeks — in addition to this weekend's Festival of Birding.The list includes:

Tuesday, Sept.  15, 10 a.m.
Bird Walk with Bergen County Audubon Society
   This free event starts at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst and runs from 10 a.m. to noon. We will look for shorebirds, waders, Ospreys and migrants – plus any butterflies we encounter. Meet in front of the Meadowlands Environment Center.  To rsvp, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at 201-636-4022 or

   Click "Continue reading … " to learn about a Lyndhurst slide show about the Meadowlands, a Harrier Meadow Walk on Sept. 22, and a geology hike up Laurel Hill in Secaucus on Sept. 26.

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Meadowlands Festival of Birding This Weekend


    Just a reminder that there are a limited number of tickets left for this weekend's Sixth Annual “Meadowlands Festival of Birding.”

    The two-day event includes field trips on foot and by boat, birding basics for beginners and loaner binoculars, a keynote lecture on migration by Dr. Robert DeCandido, a butterfly program, a raptor show, and much more.

    The festivities start early Saturday morning at the NJMC’s Meadowlands Environment Center, in DeKorte Park, and include early morning bird-banding at Harrier Meadow – a 70-acre natural area usually closed to the public – and excursions on the river and to other unique sites.

    The $40 registration fee benefits festival organizers the Hackensack Riverkeeper and New Jersey Audubon Society, and includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Ages 10 to 17 are free.

    To purchase tickets call the Riverkeeper at 201-968-0808 or click here. 

Snowy Owl in Jersey City Last Week

   Mike Britt reports: "I know how ridiculous this sounds but there was a Snowy Owl on the beach at Caven Point on Sunday, Aug. 20 )… I wonder if the wintering bird simply summered?
  "I know that they have lingered at Logan Airport in Boston until July in the past…but an August bird in Jersey…"
  A photo of the bird is in — link is here .

Bird Reports: September

A few updates from over the weekend:

 090509: Ray Duffy reports: I did a walk around sunset tonight at the Mill Creek Point Boardwalk.  I had a Sora at about 5 yards running around and feeding just past the 2nd debris gate for about 10 minutes.  I also had a Caspian Tern. Hopefully, a good sign for Birding Fest.

090509: Neil Maruca reports: At DeKorte Park, Yellow Crown Night Heron (imm), Short Billed Dowitcher, Peregrine Arrived Migrants: 18 Blue-winged Teal, 21 Northern Shoveler, 6 Green-winged Teal.

    Click "Continue reading…" for the rest of Neil's report and an earlier Sept. report.

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Sunday’s DeKorte Walk


    Sunday was perfect weather for NJ MC’s twice-monthly nature walk with Bergen County Audubon Society.

   We leisurely walked out to the Lyndhurst Nature Reserve, then around the Marsh Discovery Trail, with a soundtrack provided by phragmites rustling in the light September breeze.

   The tide could have been lower for shorebird viewing, but what we missed iIMG_6295n quantity we made up for in quality – including (for some of us) an immature Little Blue Heron, a Short-Billed Dowitcher and a Forster's Tern. 

  Also had a hard-to-identify shorebird (pictured here)  swimming in the Shorebird Pool.

   We also had great looks at a clear-winged moth and several butterfly species at the butterfly garden.

    Click "Continue reading…" for a complete list, plus more pix.

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