Monthly Archives: September 2012

Next Guided Walk: Mill Creek Marsh, Oct. 7

Save the date: Our next guided walk is Sunday, Oct. 7, at the incredible Mill Creek Marsh, especially beautiful this time of the year. 

The walk, sponsored by the Meadowlands Commission  and Bergen County Audubon Society, begins at 10 a.m. at the trail's entrance, just off Park Plaza Drive. (Directions are on the left-hand side of this blog.)

For a list of birds we saw at Mill Creek during an October walk last year, click here.

For the full listing, click below.

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Our South Bergenite Column: Bird-Banding Explained

Jim Wright, who maintains this blog for the Meadowlands Commission, also writes a twice monthly "Nature Next Door" column for The South Bergenite. Here is Jim's latest — an interview with NJMC Naturalist Mike Newhouse (above) about Mike's bird-banding project.

With autumn upon us, we’re getting a change in winged visitors in the Meadowlands. The shorebird migration is winding down, the raptor migration is in full swing, and some ducks typically associated with the colder months are already arriving.

To get the latest low-down on the avian comings-and-goings along this portion of the Atlantic Flyway, we checked in with N.J. Meadowlands Commission naturalist Mike Newhouse, who has been doing his autumn bird-banding research for the fifth year in a row in North Arlington.

NJMC:  What’s the most striking thing you’ve seen so far this season?
Newhouse: Some birds are starting to migrate a little early this fall. For example; last year we saw our first palm warbler on Sept. 12, but this year we had them as early as Sept. 5. Also, northern shovelers are coming in already. Most ducks don’t starting showing up in good numbers until October, but as of Sept. 17 we have seen flocks of 70 shovelers or more.  

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Disposal Road Update

This morning we saw lots of American Kestrels perched along the road, plus a Peregrine and a Red-tail, when we drove the road once.

1-IMG_1067Highlights reported from yesterday afternoon included 10 kestrels mobbing a Cooper's Hawk, Red-tails, a Merlin and two Northern Harriers (including a Gray Ghost above, on a very gray afternoon). 

Valley Brook Ave. late in the day yielded a perched (and dancing) Common Raven, left.

Send us your sightings and photos!

E-mail tab is on the left-hand column of this blog near the top.

Greg Gard’s Disposal Road Raptor Shots

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Greg Grad was nice enough to share some of his shots of the raptor action along Disposal Road on Tuesday — including the shot above of the banded Peregrine eating its prey in flight.

Below are a couple of shots of a dueling young Peregrine and Cooper's Hawk.

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Greg's shot of a Northern Harrier tangling with the upside-down Peregrine is next. (Thanks, Greg!)

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Disposal Road: Heaven for Raptor Lovers


Yesterday afternoon, the raptor action along Disposal Road atop the former Kingsland Landfill was incredible.

In a 30-minute spane, we saw multiple American Kestrels, a Northern Harrier, three Red-tails, at least one (banded) Peregrine Falcon and what we think was a Cooper's Hawk. 

The raptors were strafing one another and, believe it or not, at times apparently working together to drive a flock of Canada Geese off the landfill.

Included above are shots of a Northern Harrier going after the Peregrine Falcon. (Both are endangered species in New Jersey.

Below are photos of the Northern Harrier with the Peregrine upside-down below her, as well as a Red-tail harassing the Canada Geese.

TOMORROW: Greg Gard's pix of the Peregrine eating prey in flight, plus a duel between the Peregrine and (likely) Cooper's Hawk.

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Losen Slote Clean-Up: Thanks to Volunteers

Don Torino of the Bergen County Audubon Society reports:

"On Sunday, Four of us cleaned up 3 bags of garbage and cleared the trail through the meadow that was completely grown over — 3 volunteers plus me.

"Jackie, Mary and Jack all worked real hard . I just need to get back there with a hedge clipper to finish it off." 

(Thanks, Don and crew. Great job!)



The Ron Shields Kearny Marsh Report

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Ron writes:

"Here are some images of several close encounters in the Kearny Marsh on Sunday afternoon. 

"The Northern Harrier was a fly-by right off my bow and the plovers were photographed within an oar's reach of my lens.  The Black-bellied Plover was extremely cooperative. 

"The Keegan landfill held at least seven kestrels both hover-hunting and perched on the surrounding poles.

"Wading birds abounded, including several Green Herons."

Plover pix follow. (Thanks, Ron!)

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