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.
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.
Among the birds banded by NJMC researchers last week at the former Erie Landfill were a Saltmarsh Sparrow (above) and a Clay-colored Sparrow (below) — and photographed by volunteer Chris Takacs. (Thanks, Chris!)
For more on the Saltmarsh Sparrow — a bird of special concern in New Jersey — click here.