Monthly Archives: January 2017

When to Go to Mill Creek Marsh

Great Blue Heron MCM Mickey 1.15.17

This morning we posted a series of great photos that Mickey Raine took this past Saturday at DeKorte. We will continue with shots from his trip to Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus in a bit.

But first, Mickey also provided this tip about the best time to take photos at the marsh:

If anyone here is not that familiar with Mill Creek Marsh, but resides within a reasonable distance, it is truly worth the visit if you want to see some of the most fascinating landscape.  But best to follow the tidal chart and plan the trip toward the middle three to four hours between low and hide tide, for the chances of seeing greater numbers of birds, plus seeing the hauntingly beautiful collection of hundreds upon hundreds–maybe thousands, actually–of ancient cedar stumps is far better.

There’s a great website, that provides predictions at more than 2,500 locations throughout the country.  To find the tide charts for Mill Creek Marsh, click here and search for Amtrack. You’ll find the Amtrack RR swing bridge report under Hackensack River.

You can also find tide charts for Secaucus here

Meadowlands Activity This Weekend

Northern Pintail Mickey DeKorte 1.14.17

Northern Pintails

Mickey Raine made fruitful visits this weekend to DeKorte Park (Saturday) and Mill Creek Marsh (Sunday). Check out the great photos from DeKorte. We’ll post his Mill Creek shots, with some helpful advice about the best time to visit the marsh, a little later.

Northern Pintails

Northern Pintail

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy DUck

Ruddy Duck


More Thoughts on Lapland Longspur

Lapland Longspur

Lapland Longspur

On Thursday Don Torino’s column focused on our recent visitor, the Lapland Longspur. Don reports that Rick Wright, author of the “Field Guide to the Birds of New Jersey had more to add about the Laplong Longspur:

“The Lapland Longspur is one of the most abundant songbirds in the northern hemisphere, breeding across the entire Arctic from Scandinavia (whence the evocative name) through Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

It’s also one of the most strongly migratory, wintering south to China, Korea, and Japan in the Old World and over most of the United States. One of the great oddities in this chunky sparrow-like bird’s winter distribution is that it is probably scarcest where birders are most abundant: namely, in western Europe and eastern North America.

Flocks of many thousands are a familiar sight on the snowy Great Plains, with records of aggregations totaling up to four million! But here in the mid-Atlantic, most of us are lucky to see half a dozen a winter, usually tucked into swirling flocks of Horned Larks and Snow Buntings on windswept beaches and snowy farm fields.

Like those two species, longspurs rarely stay put for more than few minutes, making this winter’s reliable Meadowlands bird all the more notable.

Batter Up!

Northern Pintail2 Shields 12.12.17

Ron Shields noticed a resemblance to a certain baseball team with the Northern Pintails he photographed yesterday at DeKorte. Ron writes, “I love their classic appearance…..kind of like the Yankees’ pinstripe uniform.” Ron also notes that now is a great opportunity to photograph these birds at DeKorte, as the ice pushes them closer to land during the winter months.

Northern Pintail5 Shields 1.12.17Northern Pintail4 Shields 1.12.17

Beautiful Day for Birding

Hooded Merganser – Clay Ave. Wetlands

Dennis Cheeseman took advantage of the un-winterlike weather today and got these great shots at the Clay Avenue Wetlands and DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. Thanks Dennis!

Hooded Merganser Clay Ave. Wetlands

Hooded Merganser Clay Ave. Wetlands

Downy Woodpecker Cheeseman DeKorte 1.12.17

Downy Woodpecker – DeKorte Park


cardinal cheesemandekorte 1.12.17

Cardinal – DeKorte Park