Monthly Archives: January 2010

Bald Eagle (Friday)

 IMG_3888 Ray Gilbert photographed this second year Bald Eagle on Disposal Road shortly after 3 p.m. today. (Thanks, Ray!)

  Although we did not see the shrike, we did a young Cooper's Hawk, and a Peregrine Falcon had been seen a bit earlier, along with four Redtails and assorted Northern Harriers.

   The one raptor conspicuous in its absence has been the Rough-legged Hawk. Last year at this time, we saw several daily. So far, we have seen one, before the holidays on the Christmas Bird Count over the Kingsland Landfill, by Disposal Road. (Where else?)

  

Shrike Still Here (plus Many More Great Birds)

  John Workman reports:

  Northern Shrike continues.  Seen from 10:20 to 10:35 a.m. near the  northern end of the Saw Mill Creek Trail (off Disposal Road) between the  first and second utility tower islands.   More specifically,  bird perched for a good while in the tallest scrub tree just after the blue  bench, north of the second utility tower.   
 
    Shrike first seen as it flew, in a very low and direct flight from the direction of the Visitors Center, all the way across the frozen impoundment (just above the icy surface) to the utility island, where  it attempted to catch off-guard some of the song sparrows there. 
 
    Shrike seen again briefly behind the AMVETS Carillon in the sumacs.  Here again, it pursued an alert little brown  job.    
 
    While perched, shrike twice gave a raspy, creaky call of  four short notes. Then dove into the  underbrush.    

   Also seen in the sections of the impoundments not frozen  over:   good numbers of Canvasbacks, Bufflehead, Mallards and  Black Ducks.  Fewer Pintail.  Fewer yet (half dozen) Gadwall.  
 
    Viewing conditions this morning very good (no wind, overcast/no sun  glare, no rain).  At the southern end of the Saw Mill Creek  Trail, amid the thrumming NJ Turnpike western spur, were two  drake Red-breasted Mergansers and a single imm. hen Common Goldeneye.   Also of note, a single Green-winged Teal (the first I've  ever seen next to a Canvasback).   
 
   On the way out, at the dog-leg on Valley Brook Ave., a male Kestrel sat atop a utility pole. 
 

Whither the Shrike? Updated 1/16/10

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   Last we checked, the Northern Shrike was last seen on Friday morning  (Jan. 15) at the Retention Pond on Disposal Road. It has been seen an amazing 28 or 29 of the last 36 days, which we understand, is darned good as shrikes go.

   Of late, the shrike has been really tough to find). 

  Once shrikes establish their territory, they tend to expand it, so the shrike could be anywhere within, say, a half-mile of the Retention Pond. For example, it was reportedly seen Thursday afternoon in DeKorte Park's Lyndhurst Nature Reserve.

  We even put up this new "Wanted" poster for shrike watchers. First line: "Have you seen this masked predator?"

   If you see the shrike, please e-mail Jim Wright here. He checks e-mail daily, including weekends.

Redtails in Love

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IMG_7141-1      We weren't the first to notice that the Redtails of North Jersey seem to be getting into Valentine's Day mode IMG_7175about a month ahead of time, but we did get our camera ready.

   These two Redtails decided to hang out together on a high-tension wire tower by Disposal Road for a few minutes  before flying off in tandem toward Valley Brook.

Banded Mockingbird

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    We saw this Northern Mockingbird in Harrier Meadow on Thursday, and a little birdy told us this guy was wearing a band.

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   Sure enough, we found a band on its right leg.

   Since the bird was spotted less than 200 yards away from where NJMC Naturalist Mike Newhouse banded 15 Northern Mockingbirds this past fall, we think this guy might be a local yokel.  Just a guess.

   Click here to see the totals for the Fall 2009 banding project.

    Click here for deja vu.

Black-crowned Night Herons

IMG_7296   Chris Takacs and Dale Jankowski have seen Black-crowned Night Herons by the Marsh Discovery Trail in DeKorte Park — a nice winter find.

   These birds are considered a threatened species in New Jersey.

   Click here to learn more about their status and other threatened and endangered birds  in NJ.

  We photographed this one today –  tucked away with a buddy.

Bird Walk Next Tuesday: Laurel Hill, Secaucus

   IMG_3362 Just a reminder that our Third-Tuesday-of-the-Month Bird Walk with BCAS is next Tuesday a free two-hour guided field trip to Laurel Hill County Park in Secaucus.

   We’ll look for Ravens, raptors, waterfowl on the Hackensack River, and any other birds we can find. We meet at the big parking lot by the Laurel Hill ballfields at 10 a.m. 

    Or meet at the first parking lot in DeKorte at 9:20 (but don't dawdle or you might miss the trip).

   The walk is run by the N.J. Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society.

   To rsvp, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at greatauk4@aol.com
or 201-636-4022.

“No Shrike Wednesdays”

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    Because we have posted so many Northern Shrike reports over the past month on this blog, we thought we would make Wednesdays a "Shrike-free Zone."  

   We will no longer  post shrike updates on Wednesdays for as long as the shrike hangs around.

     Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday Teaser 011209: Find the Shrike!

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    The Northern Shrike can be seen anywhere within a half-mile of the Retention Pond on Disposal Road, but we see the little dude tucked away along the barbed-wire Cyclone fence around the pond. He can easily hang out in there and go unnoticed.

    So we thought we'd show you a typical view of the shrike in his semi-typical spot, and see if you can find him. (He is believed to be a male because he is the biggest Lyndhurst crooner since Lou Monte.)

   Click "Continue reading…" immediately below to see the bird's little hideaway, plus two other likely spots.

   Click here for previous Tuesday Teasers.

Continue reading