Date: 3/22/18 7:50 am From: CHELEMER, MARC J <mc2496...> Subject: [JERSEYBI] Lord Stirling Park, Thursday
It's been since the Lesser Nighthawk was identified last year that I've been to this wonderful walking and birding spot, so I decided to see how it looked and what birds would be around after yesterday's snow. The trails were indeed heavily snow-covered but easily followed, and the whole forest was simply beautiful with every limb and branch topped with white frosting. When I started my walk at 7:40, it was quiet, but, as usual, bird activity picked up and was just peaking when I had to head to the office. I did espy one lone and huddled Tree Swallow by the first pond. A couple of not-very-wary Pileated Woodpeckers in two separate places hacked and chopped their way through dead wood in search of invertebrate fare. A woodland hawk or owl flew off from a far tree; I could not get any ID, but it was nice to see a really big bird winging its way through the forest.
Eventually, I made my way to the eastern side of the park and to the Passaic River. It was full of ducks...all the usuals; the Green-winged Teals were piping nicely. A lone Bald Eagle watched all the waterfowl but made no attempt to harass them. Bluebirds brightened both Lenape Meadow and the riverbank. And many members of the "younger taxonomy" crowd: sparrows and juncos-flitted low over the water or through the wet woods. Fox Sparrows, in particular, were singing and moving about, bright barn-red in the morning sun.
I had 41 species over the 2.5 mile / 2 hour walk. A really nice start to the day.