On a recent DeKorte nature walk, botany whiz Edith Wallace noticed an unfamiliar fungus on the Amelanchier canadensis (Serviceberry) by the Butterfly Garden. She consulted Rich Buckley, manager of the Rutgers Plant Diagnostic Lab, for an ID.
Rich says the photo looks like "Quince rust, Gymnosporangium clavipes. Quince rust is easy to ID, as opposed to hawthorne rust or cedar apple rust, because it makes the aecia on fruit and green stems instead of the leaves." (Thanks, Edith and Rich!)
More on Quince Rust here.
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.
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!)
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 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."
Posting this as a reminder that we are getting occasionalBlack Skimmer sightings from all over the Meadowlands, so keep an eye out.
Jana Brusich reports she saw a Black Skimmer at Mill Creek Point yesterday: "And of course I didn't have my camera! It was heading toward Mill Creek Marsh around 6:30 p.m." (Thanks, Jana!)
Edith, as many of you know, helps lead many of nature walks at DeKorte Park.
Today we are posting a link to Don Torino's latest blog post, about Edith's wonderful contributions to our planet.
The link is here.
Tom Yezerski, author of the acclaimed new children's book "Meadowlnads" will be do a talk and slide show for children and their families on Staurday at 10:30 a.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center at DeKorte Park.
Tom gave a talk here last month, and he was terrific.
The book is on sale at a special price at the MEC's gift shop, and Tom will be happy to sign and inscribe copies.
A recent South Bergenite column about Tom is here.
More info follows.