America’s Comeback Story

America’s comeback story: the New Jersey Meadowlands.  Rumor says that the Meadowlands of the 1970s was the dumping ground of the Mafia.  Regardless, these wetlands were treated as a dumping ground for garbage and probably chemicals. Today more people think of the football stadium when they hear Meadowlands than of the water and wildlife.

So, on Saturday I killed a few hours there.   It was a pleasant morning.  I found a female Ruddy Duck.  I hadn’t seen any Ruddy Ducks all month, so that was a nice surprise.

Female Ruddy Duck takes off in flight. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 25, 2014.

Female Ruddy Duck takes off in flight. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 25, 2014.

Many people were there, in search of the Cinnamon Teal which had reappeared after a five day absence. I was just happy to be out and about so I did a pass along the pools, then went in search of warblers.  It was remarkably quiet on the ridge, so I returned to the pools.

Dunlin dozes along the Saw Mill Pathway. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 25, 2014.

Dunlin dozes along the Saw Mill Pathway. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 25, 2014.

Along the paths, I found a Dunlin sleeping.  It was there the first time I walked by, and when I returned it was still dozing. It’s a long flight to the Arctic Circle.

NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 25, 2014.

Size comparison between Canada Goose gosling and Lesser Yellowlegs. NJ Meadowlands. Photo taken on May 25, 2014.

As I was working my way back to my car and I finally found the goslings.  As much as people disdain the Canada Goose, they have cute goslings.  Near the feeding goslings were Lesser Yellowlegs.

The Meadowlands is a vital stopover ground and breeding place for scores of birds.   Whether the birds have used this region all along, and we’re just paying more attention or they’re returning as we clean up, either way it’s good news.

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