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.

Winging the Weekend

I had the entire weekend free of work so I made the most of it, birding 7 times.  Most of the birding was with fellow birders although Central Park was with my sister; she appreciated the turtles more than the birds.

Locations: Garrett Mountain Reservation, NJ; Clausland Mountain, NY; Rockland Lake, NY; Nyack Beach, NY; Piermont, NY; Central Park, NY; and Inwood Park, NY.

  • Waterfowl are mostly gone.  Buffleheads remained at Rockland Lake, but the rest have departed.
  • Warblers are slowly arriving: we had warblers at Garrett Mountain last weekend, but not this weekend; and in Central Park.  Palm, Yellow-rumped. and Pine have arrived.
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Swallows were spotted in multiple places.
  • Towees are back, Thrushes should return soon, hopefully.

Rather than recite what we saw where in fascinating, excruciating detail, I’ll just recap all 53 different species.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
Mallard
Bufflehead
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black VultureTurkey Vulture
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted
Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Palm Warbler
Yelow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

A Great Egret gracefully stalks through the water at Garrett Mountain. Photo taken on April 18th, 2014.

A Great Egret gracefully stalks through the water at Garrett Mountain. Photo taken on April 18th, 2014.

Female Brown-headed Cowbird at Garrett Mountain. Photo taken on April 18th, 2014.

Female Brown-headed Cowbird at Garrett Mountain. Photo taken on April 18th, 2014.

Unfortuantetly placed stick makes this Eastern Towhee appear irate!  Garrett Mountain, NJ. Photo taken on April 18th, 2014.

Unfortunately placed stick makes this Eastern Towhee appear irate! Garrett Mountain, NJ. Photo taken on April 18th, 2014.

At dusk this Brown Thrasher had a surprisingly vast repertoire for a Thrasher.  Clausland Mountain, NY. Photo taken on April 18th, 2014.

At dusk this Brown Thrasher had a surprisingly vast repertoire for a Thrasher. Clausland Mountain, NY. Photo taken on April 18th, 2014.

Tree Swallow claims the Bluebird nesting box. Rockland Lake, NY. Photo taken on April 19, 2014.

Tree Swallow claims the Bluebird nesting box. Rockland Lake, NY. Photo taken on April 19, 2014.

A Palm Warbler balances before jumping to the branch above. Central Park, NYC. Photo taken on April 20th.

A Palm Warbler balances before jumping to the branch above. Central Park, NYC. Photo taken on April 20th, 2014.

Views from Central Park, NYC.  Even the birds play tourist.  Photo taken on April 20th, 2014.

Views from Central Park, NYC. Even the birds play tourist. Photo taken on April 20th, 2014.