Daily Archives: June 24, 2011

Beware of Blackbird: Marsh Discovery Trail

A quick lunchtime walk along DeKorte Park's Marsh Discovery Trail was filled with dining swallows and assorted ducks — plus a very aggressive Red-winged Blackbird who swooped close overhead on two occasions as we tried to get out of range as quickly as possible.

In the above photo, he can seen giving us the hairy eyeball. Clearly, this dude is protecting a nest.  If walking the MDT, best to wear a hat and walk briskly.

Black Skimmers, Mill Creek Marsh

B Black Skimmer Black 006e MCM Mdwlnds NJ Twilight 062311 OKOne of our favorite birds is the Black Skimmer. Mickey Raine's report and photo capture the excitement of seeing one of these dynamic fliers at dusk:

Elaine and I went to MCM yesterday at twilight, with our fingers crossed, obviously.  It was beginning to get discouraging, for no Black Skimmers were in sight as the hour hit 8 p.m.

Then, while standing on the northern end of the path and also facing in that direction, one glided right in front of our noses from the west side.  The speed in which it surveyed the body of water just above the surface was incredible. 

Most of the time only one at a time would go by, but not very close.  Then on a couple of instances we would see the pair.  There was a third one, but that one never came back in sight after flying over our heads and heading far to the south. (Thanks, Mickey!)


Sunday, July 3: Free Guided Walk, Gallery Reception

In addition to our First Sunday free guided nature walk at DeKorte Park at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 3,  the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) will host a reception for nature photographer Herb Houghton on Sunday, July 3, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center.

Herb's exhibit, “Herb Houghton Wildlife Photography,” is on display at the NJMC Flyway Gallery, in the Environment Center, through Friday, July 29.

The walk is co-sponsored by the Bergen Country Audubon Society. We hope you can join us for both events!

Ron Shields’ Kearny Marsh Report

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Ron Shields reports:

"I've attached an image of a usually secretive Virginia Rail photographed in the Kearny Marsh on Sunday evening.  Surprised by my presence, it called out loudly and sharply before flying across the channel.

"In addition, Black-crowned Night Herons and Great Blue Herons were numerous and contacts with Common Moorhens are on the increase.

“Conspicuous by their absence are the Great Egrets as only one was seen throughout my visit. 

“A Least Bittern was flushed once again from the same set of phragmites as my last trip."