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February 2013

Mud-luscious Celery Farm Today

It may not be "In Just Spring" yet, but the Celery Farm sure was mud-luscious today, and even saw the first Skunk DSCN5043Cabbages poking up.

Highlights included one of the resident Red-shoulders and a Peregrine strafing the gulls.

Redpolls and an Iceland Gull were also reported -- if anyone has a photo share...

Wear mud boots if you go to the farm.

Full list of birds seen on my walk follows -- I'm sure I missed a lot more as I dodged the muddiest spots.

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Orchid Talk at Fyke Tonight

 “Native Orchids of New Jersey” is speaker Rick Radis' subject at tonight's Fyke meeting at Allendale Borough Hall on Crescent Ave.

Here's a description: “Because of its surprisingly wide range of habitats and biodiversity, New Jersey is home to over fifty species of wild orchids, more than most states in the country.

"Many are small, rare, and hard-to-find, but some are spectacular, and a few are familiar. All of them tell a story.”

The meeting starts at 8 p.m., the talk at 8:15.

The orchid photo above was taken at Duke Farms. I don't know if it is native or not, but better than no photo at all. : )

Turns out that above flower is not an orchid -- I knew that for sure by the end of Rick's talk. But as I said, better than no photo at all. (Thansks, Deedee!)

Worth Reading: Don Torino's Latest Column

Don Torino's latest column for is about the relationship between birding and nature, and worth a read...

Here's the beginning:

  "So call me a worrywart, some days I worry that I may have forgotten to turn off the coffee pot before leaving the house.

"On occasion, I am deeply concerned that I have never actually seen a toad sit on a toad stool, but lately I have been feeling a deep uneasiness that many new birders; especially our younger ones are not enjoying our birds like they could be and might be missing out on the real passion of birding.

   "One of the many wonderful things about birding is that there is no right way to enjoy it, you can travel the world or never leave your backyard. You can have a life list that spans all seven continents or not keep a list at all.

"The most important thing is that no matter what kind of birder you call yourself is that you enjoy the birds and become part of our natural world."

The link is here.

Celery Farm Ravens!

Rob Fanning writes:

"Had a wonderful Raven experience this morning. First on my way to the Celery Farm, I noticed THREE RAVENS over the Allendale Shopping center being harassed by several Crows.

"A few minutes later near the scout platform of the CF, 2 of the Ravens came flying in calling right overhead--and a few minutes later the 3rd bird (which was missing a good chunk of flight feathers) had joined them.

"Over the next 20 minutes I saw them several times as they soared, croaked, and barrel-rolled around the CF in the high winds. It's amazing how the Ravens dwarf the crows when you see them next to one another.

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