Date: 8/31/19 8:56 am From: Susan Treesh <sktreesh...> Subject: [JERSEYBI] Glenhurst Meadows (Somerset Co.) 8/31/19 - it's not flooded!
Jerseybirders, it's been several weeks since the last inundating rains in Central Jersey, so I decided to give Glenhurst a try this morning, since the NW winds had held one more night. There was not much migration evident, though the few migrants I found emerged from dense cover, so there may have been more. Resident birds were still pretty abundant, and a pair of pileated woodpeckers were noisily flying all over the place.
First, the good news ... Glenhurst is no longer flooded. I think it's been nearly a year since the place was reasonably passable. I was last here in the spring, and only made it to the back of the property (the Passaic River) by wading. However, you still need knee boots at least, because there is still mud in places, and very wet vegetation everywhere. In many places on the path the grass and weeds are high and still require the dryland equivalent of wading. There's no avoiding it. Marc Chelemer reported from Glenhurst on July 26 and said the county had mowed the front paths. I don't think they've been back since, so it's pretty dense. Beyond the powerline cut, nothing's been touched. The phragmites on the west side of the small reservoir (does that reservoir have a name?) have closed over the trail completely. You can still make your way through - the density is lighter where the trail used to be, but you are going to be pushing phrags out of your way.
Mosquitoes are bearable, unlike last fall when they contributed to the preserve's inaccessibility. However, it is quite buggy, particularly full of annoying gnats.
Marc had also noted that Glenhurst had been relatively undisturbed for many months, and was full of luxuriant vegetation and insects, good fodder for birds. That is still the case. I thought the birds were less wary and more relaxed than in most places.
So Glenhurst is ready for individual birders prepared for high grass and bugs. Probably still not suitable for groups.