MONK PARAKEETS, Ridgefield When you reach Railroad Avenue, head south under Hendricks Causeway Bridge. Park car near the bridge and listen; Monk Parakeets live in nests on underside of the bridge.
KEARNY FRESH-WATER MARSH, Kearny Camman Drive is the road the loops around Gunnell Oval; the marsh is to the east of the easternmost corner of the drive. You can launch kayaks and canoes at this location.
If you've ever walked to the beginning of the Saw Mill Creek Trail in North Arlington or gone birding along Disposal Road, you're probably familiar with the AMVETS Memorial Carillon.
Friday, Oct. 17, is the carillon's first anniversary, and the local AMVETS group is having a commemoration at the site at 11 a.m., followed by coffee at the Meadowlands Environment Center just down the road in Lyndhurst. The public is invited.
The carillon chimes on the quarter hour, with a lengthier anthem on the hour. Then first time you walk by when it chimes, it catches you by surprise but the pealing appealing once you get accustomed to it.
There are several AMVETS carillons nationwide, including one at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Va. For more information on the AMVETS Carillon program, click here.
The rough stretch of road connecting Schuyler Avenue in North Arlington and DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst is officially called Disposal Road or AMVETS Way, but these days it's Raptor Road. Every trip we've made along the road in the past week, we've seen a redtail or kestrel or marsh hawk. The female marsh hawk was seen hunting along the Kingsland Landfill last Thursday.
American Kestrels have been putting on a great air show on the Erie Landfill in North Arlington in recent weeks. We saw at least four working the
site last week, zipping about and then hovering when they eyed prey. The Meadowlands Commission has put up kestrel nesting boxes at Erie in hopes of getting them to breed here. Kestrels, a small falcon, have declined at an "alarming" rate in New Jersey, according to the state's
Endangered and Non-Game Species Program. It is particularly encouraging to see so many of them at once. More on kestrels here. More on kestrels in New Jersey here (click American Kestrel).
We saw this praying mantis the other day at the base of the Erie Landfill in North Arlington.
He was huge, and totally unfazed by humans walking by -- to the point we almost accidentally stepped on him. More on praying mantises here. Riddle: What is a praying mantis' favorite plant? Click "Continue reading..." for the answer.
One of the gems of the Meadowlands is Harrier Meadow, a 70-acre wetland remediation site in North Arlington. Because of access issues, this wonderful locale is not open to the public. But the Meadowlands Commission will soon be offering guided walks as part of a pilot program. If the walks are successful, the program could be expanded. If you have e-mailed Jim Wright to be on the notification list for the walks, or if you signed up at the bird banding demonstration during the recent Bird Fest, you are all set. You should be hearing from us soon in the next day or so. If you haven't signed up yet, now's the time. For more on Harrier Meadow, click here. For a short video, click here.
From Disposal Road in North Arlington around 9 this morning, we saw three harriers working the Erie Landfill. When we looked over the photographs we took (from quite a distance), we noticed a falcon perched on a rock on top of the landfill. Not long after, NJMC naturalist Michael Newhouse saw seven distant accipiters gaining altitude to the south of Harrier Meadow. With winds out of the northwest this morning, today should be a solid migration day. Footnote: Just before lunch, we saw two ospreys hunting the tidal impoundment by NJMC Headqurters in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. A great raptor morning.
NJMC naturalist Michael Newhouse saw this bird and its buddy on transmission towers near the Carillon on Disposal Road in North Arlington, and gave us a call. In previous years a pair of ravens has nested on Laurel Hill in Secaucus. More on ravens here.
Harrier Meadow in North Arlington is
a 70-acre wetlands mitigation site restored by the NJ Meadowlands Commission. Once a year, for the Meadowlands Festival of Birding (Sept. 13 and 14), the site is open
to the public. Here's a sneak preview, with an interview with NJMC
naturalist Michael Newhouse. Click here for a previous post on Harrier Meadow, with information on plans for guided tours that you can sign up for.
More Tuesday Sightings from DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst and the AMVETS Carillon area along Disposal Road in North Arlington: Don Torino had a "real nice Peregrine Falcon on the power line tower across from the veterans memorial [in North Arlington]. It kept circling and calling, pretty cool." Ray Duffy reports: "I got the 3 Marbled Godwits around 2:45pm Tuesday at DeKorte. "A White-rumped Sandpiper (speckled along the flanks, longer wings) along the Marsh Discovery Trail. "Three Western Sandpipers mixed in with the Semipalmated sandpipers around the Marsh Discovery Trail. "A magnolia warbler and an american redstart along the Lyndhurst Nature Reserve trail. "One short-billed dowitcher hanging out with a group of yellowlegs in the phragmites cluster by the nature center. For non-birds, I got a hummingbird moth and a likely hairstreak butterfly (<link to Ray's photo here) at the Butterfly Garden.
Several good birds were seen over the weekend, including this sora along the Marsh Discovery Trail in Lyndhurst on Saturday. Photographer Kevin Watson got this distant shot. After three marbled godwits were seen at Harrier Meadow on Friday, Birder John Workman reported 4 juvenile moorhens at Kearny Marsh the same morning, and birder Ray Duffy got a photo of one there later that day (Click here). Duffy also had a Caspian tern over Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus on Saturday.