Mike Gempp reports seeing an American Bittern and the Whimbrel on the final NJMC pontoon boat tour of the season yesterday evening.
What great way to end a great season on the water, highlighted by the opening of NJMC's new docks at River Barge Park in Carlstadt. (Photo above taken last weekend.)
The Meadowlands Commission would like to thank everyone who joined us for one of our two-hour cruises on the Hackensack River and into its adjacent marshes in 2010. We hope to see you again next spring.
According to Mike, here's the word on the bittern, plus other highlights: "As you enter the Mill Creek Marsh on pontoon boat from Mill Creek Point, you go past an old colonial tide gate just as you enter the marsh proper. The Bittern was in the Spartina on the North side just as you round that first corner.
"We got two good long looks at it. First we saw it flying into cover. Then, when we got closer, it flew off into the distance, giving everyone a good look at the unusual wing pattern.
"The Whimbrel is still out by Anderson Creek Marsh." (Thanks, Mike!)
The 16-acre Skeetkill Creek Marsh in Ridgefield is a small oasis in an otherwise commercial section of town and a great place to chill on weekends, just down Railroad Avenue a few blocks from the Monk Parakeets (see post below).
Earlier this week we saw migrating Monarchs galore, a Palm warbler, yellowlegs and peeps, Green-winged Teal, Snowy and Great Egrets, and a Northern Harrier scaring the feathers off a bunch of local starlings.
Directions to the marsh are in the left-hand column.
The Monk Parakeets of Ridgefield were doing fine when we checked earlier this week.
They are not only living in their old nests under the causeway, above the railroad tracks, but a few are also hanging out in the nest boxes (above) built last spring when the bridge was repaired.
They live in the nests year-round. We figure there are at least 30 in this colony.
Previous posts on the parakeets are here. Directions to the parakeets are in the left-hand column. The birds themselves are easy to find. Just listen for the squawking.
Ron Shields took this photo of an immature Little Blue Heron last weekend at Kearny Marsh. (Thanks, Ron!)