Barbour's Pond

Barbour's Pond
Barbour's Pond - November 11, 2013

Follow by Email

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Deer threaten parks


Click here for Jennifer Cunningham's article on deer threatening Garret Mt. Reservation and Riflecamp Park in the Bergen Record Deer threaten parks

Friday, May 14, 2010

May Migration


The May migration has been up and down. A few days this month 20+ species of warbler were seen in the park. On the colder, windier days the south end Barbour's Pond was the place to see Warblers. The "Warbler Tree" near the basketball courts held 10 species of Warbler on May 8. It's still one of the better spots to view Warblers through the 14th. May 14th was highlighted by a Mourning Warbler and 30+ Blackburian Warblers. During the second week of May some rare birds for the park were seen. Mississippi Kite, Blue Grosbeak and Grasshopper Sparrow were seen by a few birders. It's been common to see upwards of 80 species of birds in a day, if you spend the time. Complete list of May sightings can be viewed May Bird list

Friday, April 30, 2010

Garret's 22-Warbler Salute to Arbor Day


Garret Mt. Reservation held true to it's reputation as a top spring migration birding area. At 6AM birds started pouring in from the ridge. People were birding the ridge from the stables north past the tower to the north end of the mountain for up to 2 hours. 22 species of Warbler were seen today, I believe 80+ species of birds in total were seen. Many new arrivals for the year like Scarlet Tanager, White-crowned Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, Green Heron and Solitary Sandpiper. Arbor Day bird list

Friday, April 23, 2010

Migration at Garret Mt. this week


This week's migration at Garret produced a few new birds. Sunday through Wednesday were busy days with many birds seen throughout the park. Thursday and Friday most birds had moved out with a small amount of birds moving in. 3 Louisiana Waterthrushes were seen on Wednesday along Slippery Rock Brook (behind the restored warming shelter. We've seen 8 in the park this spring. Numerous Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers have been seen this week. A single Worm-eating Warbler was seen briefly near Wilson Ave. A singing Yellow-throated Vireo was seen on the ridge near the Overlook Meadow Thursday morning. A male Green-winged Teal was spotted on Barbour's Pond Wednesday as well as a bathing Savannah Sparrow. Friday had new arrivals of 3 Black-throated Green Warblers along the ridge near Lambert's Observation Tower. Gray Catbird was seen near the basketball court. A Male Hooded Warbler was seen behind the restored warming shelter Friday at noon. Single House Wrens have been seen sporadically throughout the week. Barn Swallows have joined Tree and Northern Rough-winged Swallows seen on Barbour's Pond. Broad-winged Hawks continue to move north over Garret Mt. too! April Bird list Thanks to Kevin Watson for the wonderful Waterthrush photograph!

Trail Maintenance around Barbour's Pond

A couple of members of the Friends of Garret added wood chips from a Garret Mt. Reservation tree to the south end of the trail around Barbour's Pond. We were given the chips from the Passaic County Parks Dept. and Tree Dept. and thank them greatly for their help. This part of the the trail is wet most of the spring. Wood chips on the trail have made it a walkable and dry trail. All of the responses from park users have been positive, even from some of the harshest critics in the park.

Garret Mt. birding in the news

Click here for the article on Garret Mt. birding in the Bergen Record Birding at Garret Mountain

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Torrey Botanical Society plant walk - April 17, 2010

17 April (Saturday). GARRET MOUNTAIN RESERVATION, WOODLAND PARK/ WEST PATERSON, PASSAIC CO., N.J. Meet at 10:00 AM in the parking lot of Mina’s on the Mountain Restaurant in the strip mall along Rifle Camp Road opposite the Park. By car: via Route. 80, east or west-bound take Squirrelwood Road exit (Exit 56), bearing right and proceed through the light for about 0.5 miles to the intersection of Rifle Camp Road. Look for the strip mall with corner restaurant opposite the New Street Reservoir. By bus: Take NJ Transit 192 bus from Port Authority Bus Terminal in N.Y.C. Get off of the bus at the corner of Valley Road and Fenner Avenue in Clifton and could be met at the Getty Service Station for pick up and short shuttle to the meeting place. Please check most current bus schedule with NJ Transit in advance of the trip. Call first trip co-leader by early Friday evening so local transportation can be arranged. After a brief meeting we will car caravan via the lower Park loop road to the parking lot at the south end of the Pond. We will explore the south end of the Park for early spring flora of the First Watchung Mountain and compare our findings with the last previous trip here in April 2005. The trip will cover the most “natural” area of the Park and will be dedicated to the late Dr. S. Marie Kuhnen, botanist and educator. The trip will finish around 12 noon. Wear sturdy footwear for rocky/wet trails and bring beverage and insect repellant; binoculars and camera optional . Trip Leaders: Joseph A. Labriola, 863 Allwood Road, Apt. D-1, Clifton, N.J. 07012; 973-472-8451; jlabriola49@optimum.net and Dr. Barbara Brummer, State Director, The Nature Conservancy, NJ Chapter, Chester, N.J. , (908) 879-7262, Ext. 350, bbrummer@tnc.org.

Monday, April 12, 2010

This weekend's new arrivals


Hooded Warbler was found along Barbour's Pond on Saturday afternoon. Northern Parula was seen and heard on Saturday and Sunday. Louisiana Waterthrush was seen in the stream along the tiered parking lot as well as near the bridge entering the Barbour's Pond "wet area". At least 8 Blue-headed Vireos total were seen in the park and Wilson Ave. Numerous Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Chipping Sparrows were seen all through the park. A leucistic Phoebe was spotted in the Rocky Hollow Picnic area. Hawks in migration seen on Garret Mt. this weekend included Bald Eagle, Broad-winged Hawk, American Kestrel, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Cooper's Hawk. Other raptors seen were Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture and Red-tailed Hawk. April's sightings are listed here April Bird list Thanks to Tom Walsh for the great photo of the Hooded Warbler.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New arrivals this week


Palm Warblers and Pine Warblers have been the predominant warbler so far this spring. Louisiana Waterthrush has been seen 3 days. Yellow-rumps have been seen a few days as well. Larger numbers of Hermit Thrushes, Flickers, Towhees, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Chipping Sparrows have been seen throughout Garret Mt. Reservation. Winter Wren and Swamp Sparrows have been more numerous. Other migrants seen in the last few days include Green-winged Teal and Peregrine Falcon at Rifle Camp Park, Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Brown Thrasher, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and Rusty Blackbird at Garret Mt. Reservation. Complete Wild Bird list for April April Bird list
Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) and Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) are coming up in their usual places. Bluets (Hedyotis caerulea) are popping up all over the grassy hill east of Barbour's Pond. Turtles are out sunning themselves at Barbour's Pond. Chipmunks are out all around the park. Butterflies seen so far are Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) and Cabbage White (Pieris rapae).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Garret Mt. Birds April 1 & 2

Birds have been on the move at Garret the first 2 days of April. Louisiana Waterthrush arrived in the afternoon April 1, 6 Pine Warblers and a single Palm Warbler were seen on April 2. Rusty Blackbird, Eastern Towhee, Brown Thrasher and Chipping Sparrows are other new arrivals. Northern Flickers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have increased in number, while Song Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos have decreased as they continue to move northward. Eastern Phoebes are nest building while others are calling around the park. Up to 12 have been seen in a day. Hermit Thrushes arrived April 1 with at least 6 seen in the northern part of the park. Eastern Bluebirds have been seen just north of the stables and in the picnic area below. Complete list of April 1 and 2 sightings click here April 1 & 2 Bird list

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring has arrived at Garret


Garret Mountain's harbinger of spring Eastern Phoebe has arrived with as many as 7 seen in the reservation alone. Other highlights of spring so far have been Wood Duck, Red-shouldered Hawk, Osprey (3/24 arrival), American Woodcock, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Pine Warbler and Fox Sparrow. Hundreds of Juncos, Robins and Song Sparrows have been moving through as well as 20+ Northern Flickers. View March's complete list through 24th March bird list thru 24th

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Red-breasted Nuthatches on Wilson Ave.



I took a quick spin around the Wilson Ave area of Garret Mt. today. The trails are covered with a foot of snow in some places so I stayed along Wilson and Mountain Aves. 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches were low in the trees near Wilson Ave. 2 Black Vultures cruised over Barbour's Pond. The wintering Pine Warblers were not seen. 2 Pine Warblers were seen along Wilson and Mountain Ave pines in December, January and February. - Chris
Birds seen:
Canada Goose 20
Mallard 2
Ring-necked Duck 1
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 1
Mourning Dove 4
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 12
American Crow 18
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Brown Creeper 1
American Robin 1
White-throated Sparrow 4
Northern Cardinal 4
Red-winged Blackbird 1
American Goldfinch 15
House Sparrow 6

Bob Busha - Trail Supervisor Garret Mountain

Bob Busha of Clifton passed away February 28, 2010. Bob was the creator of the "White" Trail at Garret Mountain Reservation. He was NY/NJ Trail Conference Trail Supervisor of Garret Mt. and Rifle Camp Park for 12 years before giving it up a few of years ago. He was still seen hiking through Garret frequently in his last years. Bob was a carpenter by trade. Bob's carpentry skills were used on trail blazes that can still be seen on the Yellow and White trails. His blazes are unique at Garret. His painted blazes were chiseled into the bark of many larger trees throughout the Garret Mountain trail system. His efforts will be remembered. Following is his obituary.

BUSHA Robert F. of Clifton on February 28, 2010. Beloved husband of the late Sara ( Esposito). Loving father to Robert B. Busha and his wife Donna of Clifton. Grandfather to Allison Busha. Brother of late Ruth Norton. Mr. Busha was born in Paterson and lived the last 43 years in Clifton. Mr. Busha was a World War II – Army Veteran. He was a Carpenter for 40 years with the Carpenter Union Local # 15 of Hackensack. He was involved in the scouting program serving with Troop #36 at St. Anthony's Church in Passaic as Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster. He was also a member of Ser-Vis-Plus and the Order of the Arrow with North Jersey Council BSA. He volunteered to provide trail maintenance with the Passaic County Parks and Morris County Parks. Funeral from the Marrocco Memorial Chapel, 470 Colfax Avenue, Clifton on Wednesday at 10 AM. Interment St. Mary's Cemetery . Visiting Tuesday 3-5 and 7-9 PM. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions to the Morris County Park Commission/Pyramid Mountain, c/o Pyramid Mountain Natural Historical Area 472A Boonton Avenue, Boonton, NJ 07005

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More support for the deer hunt

This is a letter to the editor 2/16/10 The Record

Overreacting against deer hunt


All I know about the deer hunt on Garret Mountain is what I've read in The Record. In "Questions on hunt mount like deer" (Page L-1, Feb. 11) Columnist Mike Kelly says bow hunting is "medieval," that scientific conclusions about ecosystems seem "overly exaggerated" and that dialogue about deer is "hyper-embellished." With these comments at the heart of his column about the recent deer hunt on Garret Mountain, his general assessment is wrong.

The scientific reason for culling the deer is that they destroy the natural ecosystem because the deer density is too high in the county park. This is a serious problem that should be dealt with. One of the simplest solutions is a bow hunt, and the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders should be given credit for authorizing it.

It appears that Kelly is upset at United Bowhunters because they had not told him or The Record how many deer were killed. Have a little patience; the results should be made public. Similarly, a report on the amount of venison given to homeless people should be forthcoming. Kelly should commend the freeholders for giving the deer meat to homeless people, and not call it a "lame attempt at political correctness."

If the bow hunters were allowed to complete their mission, it could have been a success. However, as the momentum has turned against the hunt, it's easy to jump on the bandwagon and to conclude that the deer hunt was a bad idea.

Michael J. Sebetich

Hawthorne, Feb. 11

The writer, a bow and gun hunter, is an ecologist in William Paterson University's biology department.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Torrey Botanical Society plant walk - April 17, 2010

17 April (Saturday). GARRET MOUNTAIN RESERVATION, WOODLAND PARK/ WEST PATERSON, PASSAIC CO., N.J. Meet at 10:00 AM in the parking lot of Mina’s on the Mountain Restaurant in the strip mall along Rifle Camp Road opposite the Park. By car: via Route. 80, east or west-bound take Squirrelwood Road exit (Exit 56), bearing right and proceed through the light for about 0.5 miles to the intersection of Rifle Camp Road. Look for the strip mall with corner restaurant opposite the New Street Reservoir. By bus: Take NJ Transit 192 bus from Port Authority Bus Terminal in N.Y.C. Get off of the bus at the corner of Valley Road and Fenner Avenue in Clifton and could be met at the Getty Service Station for pick up and short shuttle to the meeting place. Please check most current bus schedule with NJ Transit in advance of the trip. Call first trip co-leader by early Friday evening so local transportation can be arranged. After a brief meeting we will car caravan via the lower Park loop road to the parking lot at the south end of the Pond. We will explore the south end of the Park for early spring flora of the First Watchung Mountain and compare our findings with the last previous trip here in April 2005. The trip will cover the most “natural” area of the Park and will be dedicated to the late Dr. S. Marie Kuhnen, botanist and educator. The trip will finish around 12 noon. Wear sturdy footwear for rocky/wet trails and bring beverage and insect repellant; binoculars and camera optional . Trip Leaders: Joseph A. Labriola, 863 Allwood Road, Apt. D-1, Clifton, N.J. 07012; 973-472-8451; jlabriola49@optimum.net and Dr. Barbara Brummer, State Director, The Nature Conservancy, NJ Chapter, Chester, N.J. , (908) 879-7262, Ext. 350, bbrummer@tnc.org.

NJ Dept of F&W - An Evaluation of Deer Management Options

New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife's website contains an evaluation of Deer management options. This report represents the lastest state of the science on deer management. An Evaluation of Deer Management Options

Freeholders suspend deer cull

Passaic County Freeholders have suspended the deer cull on Garret Mountain indefinitely. Too many questions have been raised about how United Bow Hunters handled the hunt and whether all rules were followed properly. Division of Fish and Wildlife says it has received several anonymous tips suggesting that there have been problems with the tagging process. This sounds like the fringe deer lovers have found a way to attack the hunt by contacting Fish & Wildlife with either truths or lies about the hunt. If the tagging was in question, was Division of Fish and Wildlife doing its job on site? Every deer was to be tagged and processed on site. Was Fish and Wildlife neglectful or were the bow hunters? Read The Record's Richard Cowen's story Freeholders suspend deer cull

Thursday, February 4, 2010

US Government Sharpshooters to cull National Park Deer Herd

Government sharpshooters will cull 2000 deer in 15 years from Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland to reduce the herd which has devoured so many saplings and low-hanging tree branches that the health of both the forest and the deer have suffered. Estimated deer density in the park is 123 per square mile is about eight times that of healthy forest ecosystems. If Garret Mountain has only 200 deer, and it may have 400-600, it would have an estimated density of 100 per square mile, still well over a healthy amount. Read more Sharpshooters hunt deer in park around Camp David

Monday, February 1, 2010

Deer-Vehicle Collision Frequency Jumps 18 Percent In Five Years

See link below to very recent (Sept 2009) press release from State Farm Insurance with updated public safety related data on the hazards posed by too many deer.
“Among the 35 states where at least 7,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur per year, ... New Jersey and Nebraska have posted the largest increases, 54 percent.”
Entire press release is here:
State Farm deer-vehicle collision Press Release

The alternatives to hunting simply don't work

The Record columnist James Ahearn offers his views on the Garret Mountain Deer Hunt read it here Ahearn: Bulletins from the deer-control front

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The greatest mistake ever made in wildlife management

In 2005 Audubon Magazine ran an article about the deer, hunters and wildlife management together destroy the ecosystem which the deer depend on. Check it out here Audubon and Deer Hunting

Deer and Forest Health

The deer herd on Garret Mountain depends on the survival of healthy forest, and a healthy forest depends upon the survival of deer. Scientists have been studying deer and their impact on forests for 50+ years. Read about results from nearby Pennsylvania by using this link Deer and Forest Health

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Parks closed for deer hunt

Passaic County officials have set Monday January 11 as the start date for a deer hunt on Garret Mountain in Woodland Park, formerly West Paterson. It begins in Rifle Camp Park Monday morning at sunrise. I believe both parks will be closed. Anyone coming to Garret to bird or walk in January and February should be prepared for park closings 2 days per week. This will be a bow hunt. Please stay out of the parks if they are closed to allow the hunters to cull this oversized herd. Passaic County Sheriff's Dept. will secure the parks for the hunt.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Record editorial: Time for the hunt

The Record and Herald News ran an editorial supporting the deer hunt on Garret Mountain. Click here to read it all Editorial : Time for the hunt