John Fell Arrest Reenactment Today

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Join the Friends of the Fell House today (Sunday) from 11:30 am until 3:30 pm for a day of free history and Earth Day events.

 

At 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm the Heard's Brigade will reenact patriot John Fell's arrest by British Loyalists on April 22, 1777 – 241 years ago.

 

There will be colonial crafts, presentations of colonial life and Earth Day activities throughout the day.

 

For more information: 201 760 0804 or thefellhouse@gmail.com www.johnfellhouse.org


Bald Eagle in Saddle Brook

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I have received two recent reports of a Bald Eagle in Saddle River County Park at Saddle Brook, including this shot by Lynn Van Wyk-Wojcik that was taken last month.

Would love to know if it's nesting nearby, and if anyone has a shot that might help determine if it is banded.


A Bridge Too Heavy? No Way

After Monday's wicked flooding at the Celery Farm, I lamented that two of the Celery Farm's secondary bridges had become dislodged, making the streams impassable.

Lo and behold, someone with superhuman strength has put the bridges back in place so now you can cross them (carefully) again.

I am thinking our muscle man had to be Hercules (unchained), Ivan Drago, Fred Weber or a mystery guest.

Thanks, Hercules/Ivan/Fred/? !!


Monday Morning Mystery Solved -- Amazing

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On Monday, I asked readers what the American Bittern is eating in Walt Staab's amazing photos from last weekend. (Thanks, Walt!)

Readers all thought it was an eel. I thought it was a Mudpuppy.

I asked the experts.

Fish expert Bob Schmidt writes:

This is NOT an American eel. Eels have a continuous dorsal and anal fin.

Your photos show a fish that has no visible anal fin and a small discrete dorsal.

Also note the spotting on the caudal fin.

This is an Oriental Weatherfish, an exotic species that I have seen and published on in the Hudson Valley. You may want to contact NJ Fish and Game, they may not know that this species is in your area.

Most environmental agencies are concerned with the spread of this species, but data showing environmental damage is sparse.

In the study we did (published in Northeastern Naturalist, available from my ResearchGate page), weatherfish inhabited deep silty backwaters where almost no other fish were found. They feed on all kinds of invertebrates at night.

Also Bob Schmidt writes::

I don't know how thankful anyone can be to discover this creature in their area.
 
These fish love marshlands and they have potential to develop high population densities. We sample them with backpack electroshockers in wadeable water.
 
The NYS DEC guys found that they can be caught in minnow traps baited with dog biscuits. You might try this out to get a feeling for how dense the population may be.
 
Despite lack of data, I feel their presence is a degradation of the environment. This species will spread from your area and people may wish to look for it in downstream localities.

I contacted NJ Fish and Game.

The agency's Principal Fisheries Biologist, Mark Boriek  sent me several helpful websites on NJ's invasive fish species and said that the Oriental Weatherfish is on the state watchlist of invasive fish:

NJDF&W has documented them in White's Pond, Waldwick; an unnamed tributary of the Saddle River, Saddle River and in the Raritan River drainage.

 Mark also gave me a webpage  where you can get more  info: here.

Lorrimer Snctuary's Patrick Scheuer adds:

I found one back in 2007 in the smaller pond at the CF.

I knew it wasn't a native so I brought it back to Lorrimer and looked it up.

I sent a report to NJ Fish and Game and they confirmed the ID. That one is no longer alive.

Since then my students and I have been finding lots of them in several places--White's Pond, Ridgewood Duck Pond.

Any we find are brought back to Lorrimer and put in our big aquarium where they become food for the sunny and catfish.

A few years ago some biologists came to the center a took a bunch to preserve are type specimens for their collection.

(Thanks, Bob, Mark and Patrick!)

 


Cool Birding at CF This Afternoon

Tom Mitchell reported a Bald Eagle at the Celery Farm this morning in dreary weather (photo above).

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This afternoon, on a muddy walk around, I stopped at the Pirie-Mayhood Tower and saw the adult Bald Eagle perched above the Warden's Watch and an Osprey perched in a tree at the north end -- at the same time.

Also saw a Common Merg and a DC Cormorant, plus Palm Warblers. Not bad at all.


John Fell Arrest Reenactment Is Sunday

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Join the Friends of the Fell House on Sunday from 11:30 am until 3:30 pm for a day of free history and Earth Day events.

 

At 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm the Heard's Brigade will reenact patriot John Fell's arrest by British Loyalists on April 22, 1777 – 241 years ago. There will be colonial crafts, presentations of colonial life and Earth Day activities throughout the day.

 

For more information: 201 760 0804 or thefellhouse@gmail.com www.johnfellhouse.org


Upcoming Fell House and CF Events!

Sunday, April 22 -- John Fell Arrest Reenactment & Fell House Earth Day   

     Join the Friends of the Fell House on April 22 from 11:30 am until 3:30 pm for a day of free history and Earth Day events.

     At 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm the Heard's Brigade will reenact patriot John Fell's arrest by British Loyalists on April 22, 1777 – 241 years ago. There will be colonial crafts, presentations of colonial life and Earth Day activities throughout the day.

      For more information: 201 760 0804 or thefellhouse@gmail.com www.johnfellhouse.org

Friday, April 27 — Fyke Meeting: 8 p.m., Return of the Raven, Rick Radis

       The  Common Raven has the widest distribution of any of the Corvidae, the family that includes crows, jays, nutcrackers, magpies and related birds.

       The presentation will cover the historic status of the Common Raven in eastern North America from the late 1880s. Rick Radis will explore the possible reasons as to why the Common Ravens have lost their shyness around humans and discuss how ravens interact with the other two species of corvids.

 

 

Saturday, April 28 — Free Warbler Walk at the Celery Farm

Meet at the end of Green Way at 8 a.m. to look for spring arrivals. Birders of all levels are welcome!  Leader: Gaby Schmitt. Register for this walk by e-mail to Gaby413@aol.com.

Saturday, April 28 -- NW Bergen County History Day at the Fell House

   Northwest Bergen History Coalition’s  8th Annual History Day will focus on “How Immigration and the Railroad Shaped Our Towns.” Visit 10 museums and historic sites, including the Fell House, from 10 am to 4 pm.   Adults $10 in advance, $15 day of the event. Children 16 and under Free. Info: 201 652 7354  www.nwbergenhistory.org

 

Saturday, May 5 — May Walk at the Celery Farm

    This walk is for nature-lovers and birders of all levels. We'll look for butterflies, bugs, weird plants and our feathered friends. Meet at 8 a.m. at Green Way. Long pants and socks are a good idea; so are drinking water and bug spray. Leader:  Jim Wright. Register for this walk by e-mail to celeryfarm@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 5 -- Celery Farm Volunteer Morning.
     Following the walk, we’ll mulch the trails and remove invasives. 90 minutes. Bring your own work gloves. celeryfarm@gmail.com


Amazing Encounter at Stateline Lookout

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I've seen plenty of Bald Eagles at Stateline Lookout in Alpine over the years, and I've seen plenty of Peregrine Falcons there as well, but I've never seen what Bill Tonner saw last week and posted on Facebook.

Here is Bill's account in this lightly edited version, not for the squeamish:

The sight of an Osprey inspired me  "put in some time"at Stateline Lookout today, hoping to catch Spring migration.

I saw two more Osprey and three Red-tailed hawks. End of the afternoon a colorful male American Kestrel headed up river.

But what happened at 3:30 blew me away!

I saw a juvenile Bald Eagle flying across the river from Yonkers. Not very high, coming toward the Peregrine Falcon nest area.

Sure enough, I heard the female Peregrine  start to squawk.

A minute after that, she rocketed out of a hidden perch around the cliff top.

She met the eagle as it was one quarter across the river.

Continue reading "Amazing Encounter at Stateline Lookout" »


She's Back.....

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Now that the Warden's Watch Peninsula is no longer under water, I went to end of the peninsula to look for ducks today.

A loud hiss woke me from my birding trance. It was  the angry Canada Goose, sitting on the nest.

Looks like she's back in business.

Wear shin guards.


Celery Farm Trail Update

Walked around this a.m. Puddles a few, muddy a lot, but passable in rubber boots. Still cold.

Thought I'd show pix of of the Pena Bench from Monday, yesterday and today to show how the water has receded in 48 hours.

On Monday, an impromptu stream flowed right through the bench.

The sunshine this afternoon should help, too.

 

 


Cool Arrivals and a Handy Resource

On Thursday, Apri 12, I had my FOY (first of the year) American Bittern in the Celery Farm.

On Friday, April 13, my FOY Pied-billed Grebe.

On Saturday, April 14,  my FOY Black-crowned Night Heron.

On Sunday, April 15, I had my FOY Green Heron.

On Monday, April 16, FOY Double-crested Cormorants.

How typical were these arrival dates?

Thanks to a data base of all Celery Farm avian arrivals that Rob Fanning created and maintained for years, I (and you) can look it up.

The link is here:

CF_sightings_2008_06_20.xls

(And no, none of the arrival dates was unusual...)

Thanks, Rob!

 


The Flooded Trails of the Celery Farm

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Did a couple of walks around the Celery Farm after the big storm.

Trails took a major beating.

Two bridges in the northern area, beyond Brotherton Bridge, took a hit and are unusable.

That's the Pena Bench, above. Final shot is up toward Boroline Road, where all the stormwater and trash gets washed into the brook at that grate.

I hope to post an (amateurish) video of walking along Allendale Brook, or pretty much in it, as time allows.

 


Warbler Walk Is Now Sat., April 28

The free Warbler Walk at the Celery Farm has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 28.

Meet at the end of Green Way at 8 a.m. to look for spring arrivals. Birders of all levels are welcome!
 
Leader: Gabriele Schmitt.
 
Register for this walk by e-mail to gaby413@aol.com.
 
As always, please be mindful where you park on Green Way; do not block our neighbors' driveways or mailboxes.