Monthly Archives: May 2012

Ron Shields’ Whimbrel Shots

Ron Shields was among a group of five who went to see the Whimbrel at lunch in Harrier Meadow yesterday. Among his shots, he got the birds about to fly away, and then agin in the air. It never did land in Harrier again.This was reportedly the first Bergen County sighting since 1975.

(Thanks, Ron!)


What We Might See in the Meadowlands in June

IMG_3347-1To get a feel for what we might see in the coming month, we thought we would look back at last year at this time.

Here are some highlights from June 2011:

June 2: Revamped Butterfly Garden

June 7: Glossy Ibis in Harrier Meadow

June 9: Three Active Osprey Nests

June 13: New Sensory Garden at DeKorte

June 14: Full Moon, Kearny Marsh

June 21: Kearny Marsh — Bitterns and Rails

June 30: Nesting Common Nighthawks

Summer NJMC Pontoon Boat Season Is Here!


The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s (NJMC) highly anticipated guided pontoon boat cruises and canoe tours of the Hackensack River and its marshes begin tomorrow, giving visitors an up-close view of the Meadowlands District’s spectacular scenic beauty and the region’s remarkable environmental comeback.

The first pontoon boat trip is Friday, June 1, at 5:30 p.m., launching from River Barge Park in Carlstadt. The season’s inaugural canoe tour is Saturday, June 16, at 8:30 a.m. It departs from Laurel Hill County Park in Secaucus. Boat and canoe tours run through mid-September.

The two-hour boat cruises are led by expert NJMC narrators who explain the history of the river and its tributaries, including its natural and man-made features, and point out wildlife along the way.

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Adios, Whimbrel!

The Whimbrel flew out of Harrier Meadow around 12:30 today, disappeared briefly, circled and apparently left for good. Five of us got to see it on our impromptu walk.

Ron Shields got some terrific shots — we hope to post tomorrow.

Don Torino’s Latest Post: On Marvelous Milkweed

Don Torino's latest post for is all about Milkweed and its
pivotal role for the Monarch Butterfly.

IMG_7355Writes Don: Since we are approaching a fiery presidential election, I thought I would throw my hat into the political ring.  I already have my campaign slogan, 'A Milkweed in every yard.'  I am not sure how many states I would win …. but I will take my chances; the Monarchs can certainly use our help."

Don has donated so many Milkweed seeds to the Meadowlands Commission that we call him "Donny Milkweed Seed." 

Guess you had to be there. (Thanks, Don!)

The link is here.

Whimbrel in Harrier Meadow!

NJMC Naturalist Mike Newhouse spotted a Whimbrel in Harrier Meadow. The bird was still there as of 9:45 a.m.

We think this might be the first Bergen County record for this bird since the mid-1970s.

The commission plans to have an impromptu lunchtime walk at Harrier Meadow for anyone who would like to see the bird between noon and 1 p.m.

Contact Jim Wright at jim.wright (at) or 201-460-2002 before 11:30 a.m. if you plan on attending. Be sure to bring bug spray!

Outwater Lane ‘Zoo’

Outwater Lane Zoo 003
A colleague reports:

"Outwater Lane (home of the new River Barge Park) has cats, skunks, raccoons, rabbits, and now yesterday morning, roosters!  Still looking for the  deer."

The photo is by the NJMC's Angelo Urato. (Thanks, Angelo!)