Monthly Archives: January 2010

Really Low Tide… Really Full Moon


IMG_9137    Great sunset in one direction tonight, and great full moon in the other direction.

   A friend passed along this info from a New York City e-mail bird alert — turns out we are about to experience a Proxigean Spring Tide, a rare event indeed.

   He also shared this link, which tells all about PSTs and other moon tides…(Thanks, John!)

Observatory: February Schedule

IMG_5837    The William D. McDowell Observatory in  DeKorte Park begins a new month of programming Monday night with free public programs at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. — weather permitting, of course.

  January and February are the only months when the observatory opens at 7, so if you want to see the night sky early in the evening for whatever reason, now is the time. Dress for the weather; with the dome open, you are basically outside.

   Each evening two major objects in the night sky will be viewed, plus one or two other celestial objects or events depending on the observing conditions.

    Pictured at left is the observatory's state-of-the-art telescope with a 20-inch mirror,  housed beneath a retractable dome.

  The telescope, one of the largest in the area, is equipped with cameras to record the stars and planets. Special filters block light pollution.

   For detailed information and the complete February schedule, click here.

Shrike Update 012910

   IMG_0098     The Shrike was seen at least twice today in the early afternoon along Disposal Road by Fred Pfeifer. (Thank you, Fred!)

   The bird was first seen on Dec. 12, which means he has been in the area for seven weeks now.

    If you are looking for shrike this weekend, you might look along Disposal Road between the NJMC Maintenance Garage and the Carillon/Retention Pond Area,  as well as in the Lyndhurst Nature Reserve area. It has been frequenting the locales.

   The shrike likes to perch high in trees — when it is visible. He posed for the photo above today, albeit at a bit of a distance.

   If you do see it, please e-mail Jim Wright here and he will update the blog first chance.

   Be aware that Disposal Road can get some major vehicular traffic, including oblivious drivers who are so busy dodging speed bumps and potholes that they may not to see birders or photographers in the road. Please be careful.

   Also be aware that no one should go onto any landfill in search of the shrike or to get better looks at the shrike.

   If you see anyone — from birders to dog-walkers — trespassing  on the Kingsland Landfill (along Disposal Road on the other side of the road from DeKorte Park and the Carillon), don't hesitate to call 201-896-8100 –that's the number for the company that is remediating the former landfill. They will send out security guards.

   Similarly, call that number if you hear off-road vehicles on the landfill.

   Former landfills in the Meadowlands are off-limits to the public, for all sorts of important reasons, from public safety to on-going remediation work. Thanks.

Upcoming Events through April


   The Meadowlands Commission and Bergen Audubon have a lot of great free events planned for the next three months, and we wanted to give you an early heads-up.

   The events range from a Super Bird Sunday Walk on Feb. 7 (including great prizes!) to an Earth Day Walk on April 22, and the sites range from DeKorte Park and Harrier Meadow to Mill Creek Marsh and Laurel Hill County Park.

   Read on…

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Bird Reports 012610 DeKorte and Mill Creek

  Don Torino reports :  

    "Worth taking a trip on Discovery Trail. [On Tuesday I had] Kingfisher, 12 Bufflehead , Common Mergansers, Pintail, N. Shovelers, Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Gadwall."

  He also offered this Sunday report from Mill Creek Marsh:

  "Haven't been to Mill Creek in a while thought I would take a walk around the trail this morning: 40+ Green-winged Teal, 2 Hooded Mergansers, 1 Common Merganser, 1 Great Blue Heron, 3 Fox Sparrows,  Song Sparrows,  White-Throated Sparrows, 1 N. Cardinal (Male), 3 Mockingbirds, Ring-billed Gulls,
Mourning Doves."

DeKorte Bird Report 012610

  Chuck Smart visited DeKorte Park this morning and reported the following:

224 Canvasbacks, 1 Mute Swan, 8 Ring-billed Gulls, 6 Pintails, a Belted Kingfisher, 8 Mallards, 2 Northern Harriers, 7 Black Ducks, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers,  2 Song Sparrows, 10 Herring Gulls, 1 Common Merganser, 4 Hooded Mergansers and 2 Bufflehead. (Thanks, Chuck!)

   Seen by others morning: Dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk by Disposal Road's Retention Pond area, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet at DeKorte's Lyndhurst Nature Reserve. No shrike reports yet today.

Shrike Report (with Video!) 012610


    The Northern Shrike was seen several times on Sunday, including during the Jets game — by a diehard Giants fan.

    We did not look for Mr. Shrike Monday because of the rain, but will try to get out today and update this post as needed.

    Above is a nifty (if a tad gruesome) 40-second video by Greg Grad of the shrike eating some prey that he has impaled on a tree.(Thanks, Greg!)