I stopped at Kearny Marsh last week & in spite of all the damage from Sandy, I'm happy to report there are still some signs of life there.
There was a small group of Coot (attached pic), a few Canada Geese, Mallards & a single Common Merganser Hen. Also saw a Merlin by the ball fields on the way out.
Didn't see any Common Gallinule but wouldn't be surprised at all to find one there amongst the Coot. Nice to see anything at all there considering what the place has gone through.
(Thanks, Greg!) (Sorry for the delayed posting…)
Get out your binoculars — and send us your Meadowlands Big Year totals as of Jan. 31!
The rules are simple, even if the prizes aren't nailed down yet.
The goal is to see as many different bird species as possible in the 14 towns of the Meadowlands District over the course of 2012 — and also to have fun birding.
To ensure a level playing field, all birds must be seen in areas open to the public, or on guided walks or banding events in such places as Harrier Meadow or the back of the Kingsland Landfill (this Sunday's walk is a perfect example) .
It's not too late to get started. Sunday's Super Bird Sunday walk is a great way to begin. We''ll even share a list of birds seen on the walk on eBird.org, and you can delete the birds you did not see.
The idea is to promote birding in the Meadowlands, and to give area birders a competition that does not require as much travel (and gasoline consumption) as, say, a New Jersey Big Year.
To make this as fair as possible, we have two divisions: Meadowlands residents and non-Meadowlands residents.
More details follow.
Chris Takacs reports that the American White Pelican continues at the Kearny Marsh — can be seen from the abandoned railroad tracks that head out toward the turnpike.
Chris writes: “The bird was seen around 9 a.m.by me from the abandoned elevated railroad tracks on the north side of the marsh.
“It was sitting on mound in the marsh at the first train signal on the tracks. It stretched, flew around a bit and returned to the spot. It’s a good size marsh with much open water but the bird seems to try to stay out of the wind.”
Chris also supplied the two digiscoped shots, above. (Thanks, Chris!)
Don't forget: Our fourth-annual Super Bird Sunday guided walk is just two days away — a free event that starts outside DeKorte Park at 10 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3, at 10 a.m.
The two-hour walk, sponsored by the N.J. Meadowlands Commission and Bergen County Audubon Society, includes tickets to an NJMC pontoon-boat cruise for the first person to see a bird that an NFL team is named for — Raven, Cardinal, Eagle, Falcon or Seahawk.
Plus free coffee and doughnuts for our early birds!
Note: The first person to see a Common Raven (two are pictured above) will also win his or her choice of a copy of our coffee-table book "The Nature of the Meadowlands" or Tom Yezerski's nifty children's book "Meadowlands."
The first person to see any of the NFL mascot birds will also win a 2013 "Bird of the Year" T-shirt — featuring a Peregrine Falcon.
Full details on the event follow.