Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | January 13, 2014

From Prison to the Dumps

After suffering with an upper respiratory infection for 5 days, cabin fever got the best of me. I needed to get out and get air!

So I texted my friend E. to see if she wanted to go look for a bird which was a lifer and nemesis bird for her: Red-headed Woodpecker.

Someone recently told me about a new preserve in Woodbridge, called Oros which had a family of RHWP living there.

When we got there, the trails were flooded out but my friend quickly exclaimed, what’s that on the tree near the bridge? Indeed, an adult Red-headed Woodpecker clinging to a lower branch- check!

The preserve is located off Omar Avenue in Woodbridge and is near the East Jersey State Prison in Rahway, which gave it an eerie feeling at times.

From there, we decided, why not take our chances and head north to the Meadowlands to check out some recent reports. So we got right on the turnpike and a half hour later, we ran into some familiar faces and great birds.

Highlights were:

– Of the three reported Snowy Owls, we saw one individual without effort, just sitting in the middle of the ice in the shorebird pool.

– Andrew pointed out two Rough-legged hawks over one of the landfills on Disposal Road.

– As the golden light set in, we saw at least, two Short-eared owls cruising the landfill near the bus parking lot.

– Deciding to press our luck, we moved further down the road and decided to wait for the resident Barn Owls to appear. As we waited, several of us noticed a green fireball in the sky and couldn’t figure out what it was we had seen. Turns out it was just that- a fireball!

– Soon after (around 5:30 or so,) as darkness set in, 2 light figures cruised the landfill in the darkness – one definite Barn Owl and a probable second (though I am not confident making that call.) We just had ourselves a three owl day! Woot! (Or shall I say, Hoot!)

“Day is done” Sunset at the Carillon.



  1. Sounds like a fun day! I know one of the residents of East Jersey State; he is a birder and writer, fully reformed, a Christian, but unlikely ever to be released. The building is incredible, isn’t it?

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