Monthly Archives: March 2014

Cedar Waxwing Pix from Mill Creek Marsh

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Mickey Raine shared these recent Cedar Waxwing shots from Mill Creek Marsh, plus a sweet Sweetgum shot.

(Thanks, Mickey!)


Tiniest Turtle Update (sort of)


There was a raging controversy (some would say “mild debate”) last week over whether the turtle above was a Red-eared Slider of a Painted Turtle.

We came across this additional pic of the little guy, and we now conclude that it’s a Painted Turtle, as Patrick Carney suggested.

There’s no red ear stripe, and it isn’t on a bun.

Link to earlier post is here.

Marsh Memories: Muskrateers of Meadowlands

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Five years ago, as part of the N.J. Meadowlands Commission’s Oral History Project, we interviewed lots of folks about the region in the old days. We are reprinting the best of them here, every Tuesday, for 11 weeks. Today: The Muskrateers of the Meadowlands.

In late June 2009, a bunch of long-time hunters and muskrat trappers from Little Ferry got together at a Carlstadt restaurant to talk about the old days, when muskrats and pheasants abounded.
We were on hand to record their candid conversations.


The Muskrateers are:

Top Row (l to r): Mel Lana Jr., Andrew Zappetelli, Joe Lana, Steve Royka, Larry Russo, Mel Lana, Pete Crecco, Bernie Sobolewski, George Stoft, Brian Smith, Greg Smith, Don Smith.
Lower Row: Ronald Donaldson, Mario Mariani, Ray Kooman, Jimmy Frattarelli, Romalo Faustini, Larry Zappetelli

 Short videos of trappers Don Smith, Bernie Sobolewski, Pete Crecco, Larry Russo, Ray Kooman and Roland Donaldson follow. Continue reading

Eurasian (Common) GW Teal at MCM

Sorkin Mill Creek 1

Sandy Sorkin says:

Mill Creek had a little sun on Saturday morning, and a short walk brought us to a Common (Eurasian) Teal.

But wherever you go there is usually  a Northern Mockingbird posing for a picture.


A Big Boost for DeKorte Native Plants

Bergen County Audubon Society President Don Torino stopped by the Meadowlands Commission office in DeKorte Park last week to deliver a donation for $3,700 for native plants in the park.

Accepting the check on behalf of the Commission was Executive Director Marcia Karrow.

The donation was the result of a collaborative grant between the BCAS and the National Audubon Society.  The Meadowlands Commission can’t thank them enough!

Alice the Eagle Update!

Allan Sanford Bald Eagle 2

Allan Sanford took these photos of Alice the Bald Eagle on Sunday, March 16, from the Transco Trail.  (Thanks, Allan!)

We know it is Alice because she has a transmitter (see photo below) and she is missing a wing feather.

Alice and Al are currently incubating eggs in Ridgefield Park. This is their fourth nesting season in Ridgefield Park. The previous three all produced two eaglets, for a total of six. All successfully fledged.

Until recently, Overpeck Creek was frozen, and we suspect that Al and Alice had to fly farther to forage. DeKorte Park is roughly seven miles from the nest, as the eagle flies.

Alice was also seen yesterday on a Bergen County Audubon walk near  Mehrhof Pond in Little Ferry.

More about Alice here.


Wilson’s Snipes @ the Retention Pond

Allan Sanford reports:

I was excited to find these Wilson’s Snipes this week. They were in the Retention Pond on Disposal Road, and pics were taken through the fence.

(Thanks, Allan.  Photographers, please remember to park off the road and look out for traffic when parking on Disposal Road, and steer clear of construction areas.)

Lyndhurst Osprey Is Back — and on Nest

IMG_6944Chris Takacs reports that both he and Jill Homcy have seen an Osprey on the nest on Valley Brook Avenue. Please e-mail Jim Wright at with any Osprey sightings, particularly involving nesting. Photos are always a plus.

Also getting more reports of Tree Swallows and Greater Yellowlegs, to go with the Great Egret, BC Night Heron and many Killdeer and Red-winged Blackbirds. Spring must be here.

(Thanks, Chris and Jill!)