Mariton: Birding at the Delaware Water Gap
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
On Tuesday, we went to northern New Jersey to a section of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Yes, it was rainy on Tuesday, but I thought the radar showed an opening and I lucked out once again. I am really glad we gambled and went to this location. The trails were covered with Red Efts (the terrestrial stage of the Eastern Red-spotted Newt). We had to watch our steps. The pinxters (Rhododendron nudiflorum) were blooming everywhere, and we also saw Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera pubescens) about to bloom.
Of course this was a bird walk in theory and the forest was alive with the songs of many warblers and other Neo-tropical song birds. American Redstarts were very abundant and we saw this female working on a nest.
Also seen with nesting material was a pair of Eastern Towhees. Carole got a great shot of both the male and female. It is nice to see them side by side to see the differences.
This Black and White Warbler declared his territory on a bare snag just feet from where we ate our lunches.
Other species seen were Hooded Warblers, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Prairie Warblers, Common Yellowthroats and Ovenbirds. Yellow-throated Vireos, Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were just a few of the other birds sighted. We heard, but just couldn’t find the Cerulean Warblers.