Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bird Report 022210, Part 2

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Shrike was seen earlier today on Disposal Road.
Mike Newhouse & Co. had an American Kestrel on the Erie Landfill this a.m. We also had a Pied-billed Grebe (Ron Shields took the above shot at Kearny Marsh recently), a Common Moorhen (right),  multiple American Coots and a handful of Common Mergs (below)at the Kearny Marsh around noon.IMG_9687

By Popular Demand: Harrier Meadow Weekend Walk

Because of popular demand, we are adding a walk to our upcoming schedule — a special Harrier Meadow weekend walk on Sunday, Apr. 11.
   As you no doubt know, Apr. 11 is National Cheese Fondue Day, but we have decided against serving any during the walk. It's strictly BYOF.
   Complete details follow. Directions to Harrier are in left-hand column.

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Bald Eagle(s)

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    Ron Shields photographed this immature Bald Eagle on Monday as it flew over Disposal Road, the epicenter of Meadowlands birding these days.
    The bird the perched on the ice in a nearby impoundment. (Thanks, Ron!)
    On Wednesday, Chris Takacs saw an eagle perched on a distant snag in the Saw Mill Impoundment.  (Last Sunday, walk participants saw an eagle over that impoundment, flushing a couple of Golden Eyes and other nervous waterfowl.

Bird Report 021910: Mandarin Duck, Monk Parakeets and more

  Just in time for weekend birders, Ray Duffy reports: "I did a loop around the area. My first stop was at Braddock (North Hudson) Park in North Bergen. A drake Mandarin Duck was found here a few IMG_9426weeks ago and was still present. It's not countable, but it is a very pretty duck. Also on the pond were a female Hooded Merganser, and some northern shovelers.
   "From there I made a stop at Skeetkill and the Hendricks Causeway. Nothing going on at Skeetkill. I had a 6 six Monk Parakeets on the nests by the railroad bridge.  
   "After another stop or two, I finished off at DeKorte Park. I missed out on the Northern Shrike by a minute or two. The female Common Goldeneye continues in the Teal Pond. I had a number of northern harriers along the landfills including a Gray Ghost [blog note: photo is from yesterday]. Only 2 or 3 Fox Sparrows on the Kingsland Overlook, no sign of any White-Crowned Sparrows.
    Ray's Photo of the Mandarin Duck is also here:  

   Thanks, Ray!

Now Singing: The Disposal Road Shrike

    Our buddy the Northern Shrike has now been in the Disposal Road area for 10 weeks (seen as recently as today at 1 p.m.). To mark the occasion, IMG_2920-1we are posting two sound files of the shrike "singing," courtesy of Fred Pfeifer. (Thanks, Fred!)
   The first file below is 2:16 minutes long, and just might be the "Citizen Kane" of shrike recordings. (Just run your cursor over the dark bar, and the "play" icon will appear.)
   The monumental recording features the shrike calling, squeaking and buzzing, with a little Meadowlands wind as an added attraction. At 1:24, you might turn the volume down — that when the AMVETS Carillon chimes in. Around 1:42, a jet is kind enough to fly overhead.

The 'Citizen Kane' of Shrike sound files

    The next sound file below is for shrike addicts on the go. It weighs in at 51 seconds, and features our often-elusive pal's basic repertoire of noises.

The 'Cliff's Notes' version of Shrike sounds

    For a 40-second (slightly gruesome) You Tube video of the Disposal Road shrike by Greg Gard, click here.

    Directions to Disposal Road are in the lefthand column of this blog.

Shrike Update: Sighting for 5th Day in a Row

 IMG_0098  Donna Schulman reports: "I saw the Northern Shrike (finally!) on Disposal Rd., on the tallest tree bordering the far side of the retention pond, at noon today, Feb. 17th.
   "I could hear the shrike vocalizing when I first arrived at the pond area, but when it did not make an appearance after 10 minutes I walked across the road to my car to fetch my hat, turning my back to the pond and the invisible bird.  
   "And then, voila!  There was the bird on the tree!  It stayed for about 10 minutes and then flew off in the direction of the Saw Mill Trail." (Thanks, Donna!)
   For those keeping score at home, the shrike has been in the Disposal Road area for nearly 10 weeks now; Wednesday was the fifth day in a row it was seen near the Retention Pond/Carillon area. Some are calling it the most cooperative New Jersey shrike in recent memory.
   Tomorrow, we plan to post two sound recordings of the shrike calling. You can probably put it on your iPod/MP3 player so you can listen to this predatory songbird any time you please. Shrike autographed souvenirs will go on sale next week, at a place to be named later. Or not.