The Meadowlands Commission would like to thank everyone who participated in our 2013 pontoon-boat season. We had our last official cruise of the year yesterday evening, with three boats and 30 people. We saw plenty of nifty birds — including these four dozen migrating Semipalmated Sandpipers at River Barge Park, plenty of herons and egrets — great sights and a beautiful sunset.
See you next spring!
Full list of birds that were seen from Boat No. 1 follows.
Have still been seeing butterflies at DeKorte Park and in Harrier Meadow, although in dwindling numbers, and far too few Monarchs. Let us know if you are still seeing many butterflies, and what species.
Above, a Black Swallowtail. Below left, a Peck’s Skipper. Below right, a yellow sulphur. All photographed yesterday afternoon.
Mike Girone writes:
Spent the final official afternoon of the summer on Disposal Road and adjacent areas. Mostly sunny skies and a strong south wind certainly gave a summer-like feel to the day.
Raptor activity on Disposal Road was increased from what I’ve seen up till now, with several Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, and Red-tailed Hawks constantly working the Kingsland landfill.
One of the kestrels did a close fly-over with insect prey, and an Osprey did a fairly low fly-over, heading south (migrant perhaps?).
While watching the action, a juvenile Peregrine made an appearance, buzzing the landfill. It headed down toward the retention pond, flushing several dozen starlings. The falcon suddenly reappeared very close and very low! It faced into the strong south winds and practically stopped in mid-air near the entrance to Transco Trail.
It then turned slightly and headed for the first set of towers on Saw Mill Creek trail. After catching up with it there, it flew off the tower and made an unsuccessful attack on a duck in a tidal impoundment. It returned to the trail, crossing it quite close and very low again, before heading for DeKorte only a few feet above the water.
I never got a good enough look to check for bands. Later in the day, an unbanded adult Peregrine flew in from DeKorte with prey. It consumed it atop a tower on Saw Mill Creek trail, and after a brief rest, flew back towards DeKorte as evening settled in.
Photo gallery of the afternoon’s activity and cast of characters is on Flickr: