Public Info

Heard But Not Seen – Lenape Birdwatchers

While our last birding report from Lenape Park drew nearly 2,800 viewers, no doubt, in part, because last week’s bird walk included a sighting of a Bald Eagle, this week we turn to a smaller member of the avian family for the bird of the week: the Carolina Wren.

Avid birdwatcher Frank Budney, who leads bird hikes through Lenape on a fairly regular basis, reports that while no one could catch a glimpse of the elusive bird, its call is so distinctive that the wren made its presence known.

If you’re interested in going on one of these morning walks, write to: (This week’s photo was taken by Dan Pancamo of Houston, TX )

One more thing, whether or not you’re scouting for birds, Lenape Park marks the intersection of Union County Parks’ two major greenways, the East Coast Greenway on the western half of the park and the Frederick Law Olmsted Greenway on the western side of the park. The greenways are paved and open to walkers and cyclists…Enjoy…

  • Frank’s report:
  • Location: Lenape Park, Cranford, Union County, NJ
  • Day/Date: Wednesday, 16-December-15
  • Time: 0800 to 1000
  • Official Counter: Frank V. Budney
  • Weather: Clear Blue Sky
  • Temperature Range: 43º F to 48º F
  • Wind: Calm, WSW

Walking Route: Parking Lot to Westfield Ponds

Bright sunny morning with lots of bird activity. my favorite bird (The Bird of the Day) seemed to be calling from every corner of the forest. A Great Blue Heron was hunting in the pond at the park entrance but was not having any apparent success. A small flock of female Red-wing Blackbirds was perched high in several trees at Woodpecker Woods along with a few American Robins.

Song and White-throated Sparrow numbers seemed low and only found in the heavy brush areas around the back of the Westfield pond. The lone Pied-billed Grebe is still staking out its territory in the middle of the outside pond next to a thin branch sticking out of the pond. Apparently it doesn’t care to mix it up with the local Canada Geese.

The Bird of the Day, while not seen, could be heard echoing throughout the park by several members of its species. It was one of my all time favorite, Carolina Wren. I introduced several park walkers to its haunting melody, as described by David Allen Sibley in his field guide, “The Sibely Guide to Birds”, as a “Song of rolling chant of rich phrased, pidaro pidaro or TWEE pudo TWEE pudo TWEEP.” Now I know this verbal description is almost meaningless to the untrained ear but once you here this call in the wild it will remain with you for a long time.

Field Notes: Saturday, December 19, is the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) and members of the Friends of Lenape Park will be out and about counting numbers and species of birds for the National Audubon Society’s annual program. A special note for any of you looking for a “Life Bird” (it was for me), one has been spotted and photographed in Lenape Park and at Echo Lake. A rare sighting indeed and first time for this bird at Lenape Park. A Lesser Scaup duck has been hanging around with several Mallards for about a week and we hope it appears on Saturday to ad to our count. Scaup are normally found in bay area so it was a real treat to se one up close in our area.

  • Area Birds of Interest
  • Carolina Wren 5
  • Northern Mocking Bird 1
  • Blue Jay 10
  • American Crow 5
  • American Robin 15
  • House Finch 3
  • Red-winged Blackbird 15
  • White-breasted Nuthatch 4
  • Song Sparrow 3
  • White-throated Sparrow 5
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
  • Downy Woodpecker 2
  • Belted Kingfisher 1
  • Canada Goose 65
  • Great Blue Heron 1
  • Pied-billed Grebe 1