Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Birding Jamaica Bay; rescuing a Horseshoe Crab and a Silky Moth...

On Sunday, I had planned on helping my friend Don Riepe, who was leading a walk with the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens NY. The walk was scheduled to begin around 10:00 am. However, 10:00 am is kind of late and so I got out to the refuge around 7:45 AM and birded the South and North Gardens. The South garden had my best find of the morning as a Black Billed Cuckoo flew in and perched on one of the Pin Oaks in the garden, proving it pays to be early. Other birds moving around included, Magnolia Warblers, A Canada Warbler, Black-throated Green Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers and Northern Parulas. Along the trail to the North garden, I found a Male Scarlet Tanager, Blue Headed Vireo and Red-eyed Vireo. In the North garden itself was another nice find in a Male Cerulean Warbler, the first of the year in that location. Bay-breasted Warbler also made a show as well as several Yellow Warblers. By then it was almost 10:00 Am and so I returned to the visitor's center, where I met with Don and the folks from "Friends of East Brunswick Environmental Commission". We began our walk with a brief look around the visitor's center, then headed out along the West Pond trail. The West Pond had the usual assortment of birds with Ruddy Ducks, Glossy Ibis, Laughing Gulls, Canada Geese and Mute Swans all scattered around the pond. Along Terrapin Trail, we found some shorebirds, consisting of a mixture of Semipalmated Sandpipers, Black Bellied-plovers and Dunlins. We also found a Horse Shoe crab that was entangled in rope/twine. Don retrieved the poor fella and we worked together in removing the obstruction; I am sure that horseshoe crab was grateful to us for the rescue. Further along in the North Garden, we missed the Cerulean and Bay-breasted, but picked up a Rub-throated Hummingbird and a Scarlet Tanager...probably the same one I had seen earlier. Later on over at the East Pond, Don did another rescue...venturing out just off the East Pond shore to retrieve a Silk Moth from the pond. Truly Don continues to earn the title "Jamaica Bay Guardian". The moth appeared in poor shape; however it looked better after a few minutesin the sun, we all hoped that it made it. Overall, it turned out to be a decent walk, we saw many birds and the group got to see two rescues...not bad for a Sunday Wildlife walk.

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donna said...

I believe the name of the group is Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission. Believe me, if you live in central NJ, as I do part of the time, there is a big difference between News Brunswick and East Brunswick! I'm sure my NJ comrades were very impressed by JBWR.


Thanks Donna for pointing that out. I have made the corrections.