Nighthawks Are Back, over the Celery Farm


Was reading on the patio tonight, with half an eye to the sky in hopes of seeing my first Common Nighthawk of the season.  Bingo.

Between 7:34 and 7:45, I had at least 18, maybe more.

I took this photo on Aug. 28, 2010, when I saw too many to count.

The following year, I had 18 on Aug. 24.

According to eBird, one was last seen on Aug. 16. I guess I need to start reporting again.

BTW, the incomparable Rob Fanning says that the CF is one of the best places in NJ to see these amazing birds.


More on that Goose

I checked with our resident domestic goose expert, Bob Thurston, who says the goose is not a Chinese Goose but, based on looks at the photose, suspects it is more likely a type of Toulouse Goose, or some sort of "meat goose."

Or an African White Goose?

It was last seen from Pirie-Mayhood Tower, across the lake past the peninsula by the far Mallard box, around 11:15 a,m.  Probably doesn't fly, so it could well be there tomorrow for the Hour on the Tower unless the Snapping Turtles get lucky.

Posting a video this p.m.


Chinese Goose at CF?

Andrew Boucher reports:

I am a recently addicted birder from Mahwah.

About one hour ago at Celery Farms I spotted this odd looking goose, and from what I can tell it is a White Chinese Goose.

I noticed that one of these birds is not on the Celery Farms list of Birds and I was wondering if you have ever seen this bird/species there before.

Jim sez: I ran to the point and got a quick glimpse of the bird before it swam around the peninsula on the left from the Warden's Watch.

Definitely a domestic goose -- I think you're right, Andrew -- likely a Chinese goose.

Has anyone seen one of these birds at the CF before?  It would not be on the list, I don't think, because it is likely a released bird/escapee. Thanks, Andrew!  

Would love others' input.

This link may be helpful -- a.k.a. a swan goose?

20170819_093133Stay tuned.



News Story Featuring John Fell

 Coldenham Preservation and Historical Society

The Poughkeepsie Journal has a story about the 250th anniversary of the historic Colden House in Montgomery, N.Y., and mentions John Fell and his son and daughter and explains why the Coldens remained loyal to the king of England. 

John Fell's house on Franklin Turnpike in Allendale is a historic site; he once owned the marsh that is now the Celery Farm Natural Area -- a.k.a. Wolf Swamp and Fell's Meadows back then.

Cadwallader Colden Sr. was a member of the governor’s council, then lieutenant governor of the Province of New York, and  acted as governor several times during the 1760s and 1770s.

The link is here.

My Book Talk in Brooklyn

Had a great time reading the Celery Farm children's books at the Powerhouse on 8th bookstore in Park Slope yesterday.  A nice turnout for a lazy August Sunday morning.

The talk showcased "Duck Enough to Fly," "Icky the Hungry Heron" and "Swan Babies" and featured special guest Jerry Barrack (below), co-author and nature photographer extraordinaire. (Thanks, Jerry!)

I was a little intimidated by the realization that the previous Sunday's speaker was Rowboat Watkins and "Pete With No Pants." I'm just guessing, but anyone named Rowboat must be a tough act to follow.

A big thanks to Powerhouse on 8th's Georgia Schoonmaker for organizing yesterday's event!


World's Largest Mushroom?

Stiles Thomas claims he has the world's largest mushroom growing in his yard, and who are we to argue?

Note: Last month Stiles claimed to have the world's largest strawberry, then claimed that critters ate it before I could photograph it. (This is a distant cousin of the "dog ate my homework" ruse.

Stiles later admitted that he had purchased the alleged large strawberry at a grocery.

I believe the mushrooms are genuine. I have placed a quarter in one of the photos for scale.

Does anyone know what kind of mushrooms they are?