Common Gallinule; Newark Watershed news, Aug. 3, 2013

Roger Johnson and I visited the eastern side of Deerhaven Lake this rainy morning. Great Blue Herons have dispersed from the heronry except for three lingerers. A Great Egret fed in the marsh. Belted Kingfishers flew from one side of the lake to the other. A Red-shouldered Hawk called nearby. Swallows are almost absent save for a few Tree and Barn Swallows. The many Wood Ducks are in eclipse plumage. An Eastern Wood-Pewee made numerous circuits of the snags, flycatching along the way. The species we came to find was amazingly cooperative and found immediately upon our arrival. A Common Gallinule was active in the same area as on June 22, 2013, assuming it is the same individual. It was not as photogenic today as in June. The arrow in the photo below will help you locate the Common Gallinule. Nonetheless, it was out in the open for most of the time we were there.

Common Galinule, Deerhaven Lake, NJ, Aug. 3, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas).

Common Galinule, Deerhaven Lake, NJ, Aug. 3, 2013 (digiscoped by Jonathan Klizas).

David Bernstein sent an interesting note yesterday, informing me that the Newark Watershed office on Echo Lake Road had a sign on the door reading: Closed until further notice. A search on the Internet shows that the Watershed commission is disbanded as of May, 2013. Here is a NJ.com link from May 2013. Politicos applaud this move citing issues with the improper utilization of funds, etc. The city of Newark runs the watershed now. What does this mean about accessing the Watershed property, all 35,000 acres of it? Will the city of Newark take over the issuing of permits for hiking, fishing, hunting, etc.? Will the property be off limits, as I understand it was prior to the 1970s? Does the Highlands Council have any authority over any possible development the city of Newark may want to initiate to raise revenues? There are no answers yet. Please comment if you know of any additional information. mocosocoBirds will relay updates about the situation as it unfolds.

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