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June 2009
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July 2009

My Column in The Record Today

Turkey vulture jw

   My column in The Record today, on Page L-4, is about Turkey Vultures, arguably the most incredible -- and disgusting -- raptor of them all.
   You'll laugh, you'll cry. I think it's easily  the best column I have written for The Record in two weeks!  Link is here.
   Click here for earlier "Bird Watcher" columns in The Record.

Mink at the Celery Farm!?

Birder David Blinder just posted the following on Jersey Birds:

   "At 12:05, near marker #11, I was observing a muskrat at close proximity and made a few "chip" notes to see how it would respond.  One minute later, 4 brown rodents came into the small channel opposite the observation tower.  At first glance I had dismissed them as just more muskrats, didn't imagine any beaver in the pond or any other aquatic rodent. 
   "The animals were in the clearing in the channel long enough to realize they were long, skinny, and had furred tails.  I've never seen a MINK up close before, but my binocular views mirrored mink photos exactly.  Pretty exciting!

  "Unfortunately this was a rare time I wasn't carrying a camera.  It was still raining, and I only went to the CF because I had obligations in the area today."

Where the frogs are...

Green frog cf

   Last week, I posted an item about the dearth of [primarily green] frogs along the Allendale Brook this year, and got  many responses and two theories, both related to our very wet June weather.

  According to one theory, all that rain allowed the frogs to move to wet areas beyond the brook.
   According to the other theory, all that rain generated all kinds of polluted stormwater runoff, which did a number on the frog population.
  Sad to say, I have been leaning toward the latter, especially since there are such drainage problems along the Allendale Brook just south of the Celery Farm. But Patrick Scheuer, director of NJ Audubon's Lorrimer Sanctuary, goes along with the wet June theory. That's encouraging.