It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single town in possession of a good fortune must be in need of a nature center. In Bergen County, where I live, work, and bird, nearly every town appears to have a nature center. This leaves one with many choices for good birding.
I finally opened my eyes Friday morning. I was going into work a bit late and could afford to sleep in. Or I could until I saw the ebird notifications for what had turned up in the last 24 hours. I bounded out of bed and was out the door within 20 minutes. No breakfast, just a cup of tea to get me through.
– Greater Scaup (1 report)
– Solitary Sandpiper (1 report)
– Greater Yellowlegs (2 reports)
– Bonaparte’s Gull (1 report)
– Northern Waterthrush (1 report)
– Savannah Sparrow (1 report)
Many of these were from New York, just across the border, about half a mile from where my folks reside. I could make it there, get an hour of birding in and still be on time for work, all while getting breakfast at the local deli, to boot!
But it wasn’t to be.
The second truth universally acknowledged is when you want to get somewhere particularly quickly or badly, there will be traffic. Welcome to New Jersey, home of Bridgegate where we invented more traffic because there just wasn’t enough to begin with.
Despite the early hours, there was bad traffic on Rte 46, leading towards the GWB as a result of an accident. I wasn’t going to make it to the Pier and to work on time. Thus I began wracking my brain for an alternative.
I decided to go check out Demarest Nature Center of Demarest, NJ, home of the Redheaded Woodpecker. (We hope it’s occupying the tree for the season.) Driving in, songs were dripping from the abundant greenery.
First stop was to look for the woodpecker, but there was no activity. I began working my way along the very muddy trails of the center. I had about 45 minutes there before I had to depart for work.
While there, I did locate Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, and several Yellow-rumped in addition to our resident birds. I also picked up Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, and Pileated Woodpecker. Plus, I picked up a Northern Waterthursh (edited). I had been going with Louisiana because the white screamed white. However, as Lawrence points out, there are stripes along the throat which indicates Northern. The joys of warblers! This waterthrush nicely jumped up on the branches for a photo op..
I saved a few minutes for a scan of the trees when I returned to my car. And there it was:
Truth #3 achieved. What ye seek, ye shall find.