Mothers’ Day at the Meadowlands

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.

Families of Canada Geese choose to raise their young in the safety of the marshlands. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 11, 2014.

Families of Canada Geese choose to raise their young in the safety of the marshlands. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 11, 2014.

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!

Barn Swallow rests from romantic pursuits. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 11, 2014.

Barn Swallow rests from romantic pursuits. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 11, 2014.

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.

Two male Brown-headed Cowbirds pose as Audubon might have positioned them. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 11, 2014.

Two male Brown-headed Cowbirds pose as Audubon might have positioned them. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 11, 2014.

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.

A Solitary Sandpiper is a nice surprise as I return to my car. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 11, 2014.

A Least Sandpiper is a nice surprise as I return to my car. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 11, 2014.

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