More about Walker Ave. Wetlands
August 18, 2013
My latest column for The Record and Herald News was on the Walker Avenue Wetlands in Wayne, which prompted this helpful commentary from Dan Poalillo. Dan writes:
I bird Walker regularly, and being a teacher with a summer break, find myself there 2-3 times a week in July and August. I was surprised that you seemed to suggest in the article that you have never been to Walker before. I thought you might like to hear a few more things about the place that Ivan may or may not have relayed to you.
Walker represents really the only habitat of its type in the entire Passaic County, as least as far as I know. Wetlands of this type are more abundant in Morris and Bergen Counties, but not so here.
For this reason it represent the only real wader/shorebirding opportunity in Passaic County. I can personally report seeing White-rumped, Pectoral, Semipalmated, Least, and even a single Baird's Sandpiper here in recent years (depending on the water level by August, which is usually very low).
I believe it was Jim Schlickenrieder who also told me he had seen a Baird's here. Jim has found (and I refound) Glossy Ibis on 2 occasions. Little Blue and Tricolored Heron has occurred here.
Justin Muratore has seen American Bittern here. For almost all of these species this is the only place in the county to predictably see one. Spotted, Solitary, and both yellowlegs also occur here, but are sometimes available elsewhere in the county as well.
In winter dabblers abound and there are always some Blue-winged Teal in spring. Again, with Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, and a few other ducks there are few other places in Passaic to see these birds.
Wilson's Snipe is also here in March/April (and I am sure at other times). You may remember there was even a Ruff that appeared at Walker years back (before my time birding there).
Since I bird Walker year round I have amassed a decent list--106 species for the site. I am sure that's not exhaustive. In all it is a great place that really supports more then meets the eye.