On a Thursday early in June as I was leaving work, I was debating whether I should go birding (obviously) or go home and do research on my upcoming trip to Arizona where I would get a few days to bird. So tough call. As I was debating, I got a text from my birding partner in crime, suggesting we hit up the Meadowlands briefly. Birding was meant to be.
That blip against the building is an osprey. Normally, the Meadowland photos don’t do justice to the true nature of NJ wildlands. The wilds of New Jersey are not often tucked in far away, remote corners (as there aren’t too many of those in the state!), but in close, obvious areas such as along major American arteries. Here you have the NJTP (New Jersey Turnpike) which connects Philadelphia and New York. Beyond these cities, it’s I-95. Despite the high volume of traffic, this region is a thriving haven for many marsh and grassland species.
Here’s the same Osprey captured against the sky. If the Osprey doesn’t care about the traffic, why should we?
Although, there was quite a bit of traffic in the sky that day. Soon after, three Mallards flew by.
There was also avian activity closer to ground. As we checked out the marshlands along the turnpike we heard, then located, a Willow Flycatcher. Unlike its predecessors, this one was sitting out on a conspicuous perch. Clearly didn’t get the memo: hide, hide, hide.
Wandering back, we learned that one of the Sandy-damaged meadow trails was finally reopened. We took it as far as we could and were rewarded for our curiosity.
The Marsh Wrens we’ve been hearing for some weeks now were finally visible along this trail.
It was a lovely few hours….. easy enough to say now that I’m inside and well away from the swarms of 10,000s of gnats that infested the walkways. But the birds were worth it. They always are.