Last weekend, my husband and I tried to get outdoors as much as our schedules allowed. On Saturday afternoon we visited a “hawk watch” called Chimney Rock, an interesting vista along a chain of hills. We didn’t see a whole lot there – a bunch of vultures, but I talked to some kind bird watchers and I did make the first spot on a harrier which was pretty exciting for a total beginner. I didn’t ID it of course- it was far away and I admit to having not much clue about who’s who in the air, but it was great learning from people who were experienced enough to figure out who was out there.
Because of some extenuating circumstances Ted and I did not get out of doors until later on Sunday. We did visit the Great Swamp in the afternoon as visitors, and it was exciting that I was able to help some of the other visitors spot some wildlife that they would not have found otherwise. It’s a great cycle- getting to know those more experienced than me, learning from their knowledge and being able to pass down what small amount of knowledge I have to others.
The simple website for Chimney Rock, with directions a couple pictures and bird migration totals is here: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~magarell/chimney_rock/.
Great Swamp information can be located here: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/greatswamp/ Be sure to check out the link to Friends of the Great Swamp, the volunteer organization that helps the refuge staff and has some great educational and recreational opportunities. Coming up in October is the “Big Sit” and National Wildlife Refuge Week, so look around and maybe I’ll see you there!