Monthly Archives: January 2012

New South Bergenite Column: Interview with Tom Yezerski

Tom illustration-1

Jim Wright, who keeps this blog, also writes a twice-monthly nature column for The South Bergenite. Here's his latest, an interview with "Meadowlands" author Thoms F. Yezerski.

The last time we checked in with children’s author/illustrator Tom Yezerski, his marvelous book “Meadowlands, A Wetlands Survival Story” had just been published. Since then, the former Rutherford resident’s book has been named a notable book of 2011 by both The New York Times and the New York Public Library.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is pleased to host Tom’s first gallery show of the paintings from the book, including a talk and signing by Tom, followed by a reception, on Sunday, Feb. 5, in the Flyway Gallery in DeKorte Park.

We caught up with Tom again recently to talk about subjects ranging from having his first show in the Meadowlands to his advice for aspiring illustrators.

How is the book doing?  Very well. The book has gotten great reviews from as far away as Los Angles, which gave it national attention.  All the kids I have shown it to seem to love the animals and the comeback story.

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Eurasian Teal Back at Mill Creek

Chris Takacs reports:

"I took a lunchtime trip to Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus on Tuesday. Most of the ice was gone and ducks have come back to the impoundments.  It doesn't have great duck diversity but we had very nice looks at many  Green-winged Teal and the Eurasian Green-winged Teal. It was seen in the  back impoundment. A photo can be seen here."

(Thanks, Chris!)

Our Next Walk: SuperBird Sunday [Feb. 5]!


Want to get outside and get some exercise before the big game? Don't miss the third-annual SuperBird Sunday guided walk, a free event that takes place at DeKorte Park at 10 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, at 10 a.m.

The two-hour walk, sponsored by the N.J. Meadowlands Commission and Bergen County Audubon Society, includes valuable prizes for the first person to see a bird that an NFL team is named for — Raven, Cardinal, Eagle, Falcon or Seahawk. (Not to worry: legendary birder Bob O'Link, pictured above, will not be on this walk.)

Following the walk will be a free talk and artist's reception for Thomas F. Yezerski, the author/illustrator of the acclaimed children's book "Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story." A link to that post is here.

Full details on both events follow.

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Goldeneye at DeKorte Park

Saw a female Common Goldeneye in Teal Pool at 11:45 a.m. today on our lunchbreak. We know the pic above stinks, but the lighting was poor and the duck was distant.

Around noon she flew and landed fairly close in the nearby Saw Mill Creek Tidal Impoundment. This is just for ID purposes.

Did not see Friday's Pied-billed Grebe, but found Common Mergs, Hooded Mergs, Bufflehead, Shoveler and lots of Canvasbacks on quick inspection. A spotting scope and patience would have likely yielded more species.


Mystery Pods Demystified

Deedee Burnside correctly ID'd the mystery pods photographed by Mickey and Elaine Raine near DeKorte Park, posted last week.

They are wild cucumbers.

About three years ago (how time flies), we posted a different ("greener") shot of them, in Harrier Meadow.

That link is here. (Thanks, all!)

Our 2012 Events and Guided Walks Schedule!


For the past three years, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society have joined forces to offer a wide range of nature programs to the public, including twice-monthly guided nature walks – plus two inexpensive birding-by-boat trips.

 We are pleased to announce our tentative schedule of more than three dozen events for 2012, with an eye to adding another exciting event or two to the schedule if possible.

Be sure to set aside some very important dates now — such as Butterfly Day, Kevin Karlson Shorebird Day, Birding for Beginners classes, a special April Fool's Day (you'll be perfect for this!), and other must-see events. Not too mention our first-Sunday and third-Tuesday walks.

Click below for full schedule, or download it here:

Download 2012 Schedule for NJMC-BCAS

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Bird Report 012212

Mike Britt reports:

"Hit Mill Creek Point early this morning…no Roughlegs…three adult female Northern Harriers.

"The DeKorte area had a Wilson's Snipe (observed flying off Valley Brook Ave.), 3 Northern Harriers…two adult females working the 1-E landfill and an immature that came from the Kingsland and headed over Erie.

"An adult Bald Eagle looked picturesque perched in a tree on the snowy 1-E landfill. Sixty to seventy percent of the water here was frozen."

(Thanks, Mike!)

Bird Report: Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Yellowlegs


Did a quick walk out into DeKorte Park Nature Reserve during lunch, near low tide.


Didn't see any Canvasbacks but did see an extra-secretive Pied-billed Grebe (above) and a Lesser Yellowlegs (left).

The Grebe was distant, and hanging out near the rocks along the distant Saw Mill Creek Trail, which is officially closed. 

It tended to hide behind rocks if any humans seemed close, so best to use a spotting scope from the far shore.  

Full list follows.

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