Tree Swallows are invading the Meadowlands these days and snapping up all the available housing. NJMC naturalists are erecting more nesting boxes the marshes, starting this week.
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2 Bald Eagles at DeKorte
We took a late lunch today, and so did these two adult Bald Eagles. They opted for fish, and chose to dine in the Saw Mill Creek Tidal Impoundment, along the Transco Trail not far from the (currently closed) entrance to the Marsh Discovery Trail.
The eagles were seen around 1 p.m., and again at 1:15 in the same area. The gulls on the left were not happy and harassed one of the eagles, below.
We'll try to post another pic of two later.
Northern Shrike Update 031810: The Bird that Wouldn’t Leave
NJMC Guided Canoe Trips
The Meadowlands Commission has announced its 2010 Guided Canoe Trip schedule, beginning on Saturday, May 15, at 8:30 a.m. at Mill Creek in Secaucus.
The trips last roughly three hours, for ages 10 and up. Each canoe will hold up to three people, and it is a good idea to have at least one person in the canoe with some paddling experience. Registration fee is $15 person, and preregistration is required.
You can download the schedule and pre-registration form here.
Pontoon-Boat and Canoe Tours
Another season of the Meadowlands Commission's popular eco-cruises and guided canoe trips begins in May, but you can start reserving a spot now.
Today we are posting information on the pontoon-boat eco-cruises. We'll post the canoe info on Wednesday.
The cruises leave from the River Barge Park in Carlstadt. The weekday and weeknight cruises last two hours, and are for people ages 10 and up. Suggested minimum donation per person is $15. Pre-registration is required.
The link to pontoon-boat schedule and registration form is here.
Bird Report 030510: Kearny Marsh, Disposal Road
A quartet of birders found one of the Common Moorhens at the Kearny early this afternoon. They saw the bird to the left as they looked out at the marsh from the Gunnell Oval.
Best to bring a spotting scope if you go. Also there: Northern Shovelers, a couple of American Coots and a well-hidden Great Blue Heron.
No reported sightings of the Disposal Road Northern Shrike, if anyone is still keeping score, but did have an Am. Kestrel and a few Redtails and Northern Harriers (including a Great Ghost) along this birders' highway.
And, oh, we did see this Turkey Vulture on Valley Brook near the Solgar facility. He was looking longingly at a former rabbit lying in the road.
New Feature: Directions to NJMC Sites
Getting to many of the New Jersey Meadowlands locations can be tough — but we are trying to simplify the task.
At the upper left-hand corner of this blog, we are posting links via Google Maps that enable you to type in your address and get directions to DeKorte Park in Secaucus and elsewhere.
Note: With most of these Internet mapping sites, Google maps may not list the best option as the first option. Try alternate suggestions, and look at the map to get a better sense of where you need to go.
Caveat Paddler: It’s Hunting Season
We kayaked the Kearny Freshwater Marsh last Friday, and as we pulled our boats from the water, we saw a hunter launch his camouflaged boat at Gunnell Oval and head into the marsh.
We also saw a newly refurbished hunting blind in the marsh itself (left).
The point is: Although we wore bright-orange vests, we are thinking this is not a great time of year to be kayaking in the marshes.
If you still plan on kayaking or canoeing, at least wear bright outerwear. To be continued….
DeKorte Observatory’s New Geochron
The William D. McDowell Observatory at DeKorte Park now sports a Geochron Global Time Indicator. It not only tells the time around the world, but it also shows where it is daylight.
Download more info on the Geochron here: Download Geochron
Help Wanted: Locating Bat Roosts in the Meadowlands
The Bergen Record had an alarming story on Wednesday about a significant decrease in the Bergen County bat population.
We at the Meadowlands Commission would like to start monitoring bat populations in our 14 municipalities.
At least one municipality — Ridgefield — is putting up bat houses (left) in hopes of attracting these beneficial mammals next spring or beyond. A tip of the NJMC hat to Ridgefield.
If you know of a roost, please e-mail Jim Wright.
The Record's story is here.