Saturday, July 16, 2005

Two Bird Articles

A week ago, I wrote a post about seeing a common moorhen in New Jersey's Meadowlands. This weekend, the New York Times has an article on the rise of ecotourism in the Meadowlands. As birds, fish, and other wildlife have returned, there has been a greater interest in visiting the marshes along the Hackensack River. The article mentions two areas: the Saw Mill Creek WMA (which I have visited), and the Mill Creek Marsh (which I have not visited). A reporter travelled on a pontoon boat that transports ecotourists through the marshes; I think he sums up the Meadowlands birding experience fairly well:

During recent trips with each group, the noises of the highway and airplanes competed with the chortling riffs of the marsh wren, but when the captain of one of the boats cut the motor back in the deeper marshy reaches, a lulling silence took over. Great egrets flew above the spartina grass framed by the smoggy outlines of the Empire State Building, about seven miles away. A black-crowned night-heron waited for baitfish next to a culvert under the turnpike.
Closer to my town, the Chesapeake Bay provides some major birding attractions. This article describes some of the avian highlights of the Eastern Shore along the bay. Because of transportation-related reasons, I have not birded very frequently along the Chesapeake. But I have seen some wonderful sights - and recorded some lifers - in the state and federal refuges along both shores of the bay.