Mother’s Day at the meadowlands was a quiet affair. A few couples graced the Richard DeKorte Park in the early morning hours taking in the waters. On the Peninsula, a few families relaxed on the grass where the young frolicked and the parents were moderately vigilant.
I, the solitary interloper, had been warned by a man returning to his vehicle with his dog that it was a quiet day. One of my early IDs was an Osprey flying past. Hopeful, I did a quick pass through Teal Pool and the Saw Mill Mudflats. A few Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, American Black Duck, and a Common Merganser. Pretty quiet in numbers compared to sunset, but well-rounded in duck diversity!
Back on the Peninsula, I had views of Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows as well as a punky Lincoln’s Sparrow in the bush (bad views and worse photos, alas!). A few warblers zipped and zoomed through the trees: Common Yellowthroat, Black-and-white, Yellow-rumped.
A final scan of the water found two Great Egrets.
Heading up to Kingland Overlook I picked up American Redstart, Magnolia, Yellow, and Northern Parula.
Instead of taking the wooded Transco Trail back, I decided to walk back along Disposal Rd to see if I could get any of the field birds that had been spotted: Kestrels, Bobolinks, Blue Grosbeak (!), or the infamous Ring-necked Pheasant.
I dipped on most but did get Cowbirds, first by ear, then by sight, and photo. I finally got the Ring-necked Pheasant. It was hiding in the phragmites of the Bus Parking lot. I spotted it, heard it call twice, but then it hid in the reeds without a further peep.
Returning to the car, I got my one shorebird of the day at the puddles I was skirting: the Least Sandpiper, browsing through the mud and grass. All together, I had 40 species which wasn’t so bad as to be called a quiet day in my books. (It was more than anyone else reported on ebird!) Then, I went to work.