The recent cold snap did not stop our intrepid bird watchers from making their regular foray into Lenape Park this week. The ground crackled with their every step. Avid birdwatcher Frank Budney, who leads bird hikes through Lenape on a fairly regular basis, reports that his favorite, the Carolina Wren, could still be heard making its distinctive call, but sightings of most birds were on the lean side.
If you’re interested in going on one of these morning walks, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org (This week’s photo was taken by James Ownby of Oklahoma. More of his nature photography can be seen at www.ownbyphotography.com)
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 eastern 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 for the public to enjoy. Frank Bundney’s report is below:
- Location: Lenape Park, Cranford, Union County, NJ
- Day/Date: Tuesday, 5-January-2016
- Time: 0800 to 1000
- Official Counter: Frank V. Budney
- Observers: Simon R. & Ed Z.
- Weather: Very Cold with Clear Blue Sky
- Temperature: 11º F
- Wind: W, Calm
- Walking Route: Main Parking Lot to Westfield Ponds
The first outing of the New Year, and what a difference a week makes temperature wise. The ground was frozen beneath our feet and crackled with every step. All the ponds had a thin sheen of ice just enough to support a flock of Canada Geese on the Westfield pond. Our first bird became the Bird of the Day perched in a tree in Woodpecker Woods. Hidden in plain view if found a comfortable perch to catch the morning sun.
Birds were few and far between but the familiar call of several Carolina Wrens (my all time favorite) could be heard through out the park. Blue Jay activity was noticeable at every location along the walkway and we even saw a few American Robins. Several American Goldfinch were feeding on the remains of crab apples at the Westfield pond and a lone Great Blue Heron was perched on a low branch at the NW corner of the inside pond.
The Bird of the Day was an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk. A common winter bird but one that hasn’t been sen very often so far this season.
One birding event (Christmas Bird Count) has been accomplished (December 19, 2015) and another is only a few months away: World Series of Birding in May. Also, be aware that the annual Union County Deer Management Program started on Monday, January 4, 2016 and will continue for the next 5 weeks until February 8. If you are walking in the park on those days, please be aware of the hunt and confine your walking to the paved pathways and pets should be restrained on a leash. Any questions can be directed to: email@example.com or 908-527-4900.
Area Birds of Interest
- Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
- Downy Woodpecker 2
- Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
- White-throated Sparrow 5
- Northern Cardinal 2
- House Finch 5
- Carolina Wren 3
- Blue Jay 10
- American Goldfinch 5
- Great Blue Heron 1