Birder Ray Duffy reports: " I visited Laurel Hill Thursday evening around 5 p.m. I walked the waterfront path behind the Xchange Place complex. With a spotting scope, I saw a Pied-billed Grebe and a Clapper Rail across the Hackensack River in the Saw Mill Creek Area a.
"Other notables included Savannah Sparrows, 3 White-throated Sparrows, Palm Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Common Yellowthroat and 8 Killdeer.
We got this guy on our "First Sunday" walk at DeKorte Park this week.
We are thinking this is a Yellow Bear Caterpillar — not to be confused with a Woolly Bear Caterpillar, which, according to folk lore, can be used to predict how cold the winter will be.
Water levels are still historically low in the main impoundment at DeKorte, but the maintenance work is almost over and there is a need to bring water back in to rehydrate the mud, flush the impoundment, replenish the fish population, and (soon) bring water levels up for the wintering ducks.
Water levels should be low throughout the weekend, though, and we still have plenty of shorebirds around — including this Black-bellied Plover and six of his buddies.
We saw him toward the end of the Transco Trail, near the Turnpike. Smaller photo shows his "black armpit," a good diagnostic. We took these photos Thursday.
We also have plenty of Semipalmated Plovers, a Semipalmated Sandpiper or two, and a Pectoral Sandpiper or two — in addition the dozens of egrets and gulls and yellowlegs. Also seen: Green-winged Teal, Ruddies, Black-crowned Night Herons.
If breeze is strong , the birds tend to be hunkered down in the back. Best viewing is from blind on the Marsh Discovery Trail, second-closest to the Transco Trail.
The last reported Sora was last Sunday but they could still be around. Ditto the Least Bittern.