Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Negri-Nepote Grasslands

Before the rains came on Saturday night, I had the chance to visit a new birding spot for me - the Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve in nearby Franklin Township, NJ. The peak birding time here is the breeding season, where Grasshopper Sparrow are "thick" according to my friend Susanna. Cooper's Hawk, Eastern Meadowlark and American Kestrel are among the other wonderful birds that breed here. Despite being in the "off-season", it was still a great day to be out.

Here's a view of one of the trails at the preserve. Along this tree line I saw my first Chipping Sparrow of the season. I still have trouble separating their songs from Pine Warbler. I also encountered tons of Song Sparrows and a group of Tree Swallows. The skies weren't empty either. A pair of Red-tailed Hawks were interacting on a nearby tower and both Black and Turkey Vultures made an appearance.

There's a pond with a blind that held a pair of Green-winged Teal. I believe that Wood Ducks breed on this pond, but I didn't see any. The blind was a very nice structure, but not exactly "blind" as you can see from this picture below.

Along the trail I also found a group of Savannah Sparrows feeding together. The other interesting thing I found was in the picture below. It's a lovely piece of scat and the presence of hair and the size indicate a coyote to me. Any experts out there want to weigh in?


Jochen said...

Well, I have no experience with Coyote but spent 2 years tracking mammals in Africa and if I found that kind of scat there, I'd guess it was from a Jackal, so Coyote seems quite a reasonable assumption.

Anonymous said...

Gray, twisted, and full of hair: Coyote all right.

Patrick B. said...

Thanks for the confirmation!