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Posted by on Apr 29, 2007 in Blog, New Jersey, New York City, Photography, Places | 10 comments

Mill Creek Marsh (it’s for the birds)

I made my first visit to the Mill Creek Marsh in the NJ Meadowlands this weekend. The preserve is located a few miles from NYC next to the Mill Creek Mall. I really didn’t know what to expect, and I was initially a little put off by the place.

Mill Creek Marsh NYC Skyline

As you can see above, NYC is just a few miles away, and the area is bordered by a shopping mall, sewage treatment plant, and the NJ Turnpike. There was a distinctive “low tide” smell which I assume came from the actual low tide. The marsh itself was a bit strange looking, with cedar stumps poking out of the water. There is a good overview of the area at NJWildLifeTrails.Org

Mill Creek Marsh Cedar Stump

White Cedar Stump and Red Winged Blackbird

Mill Creek Marsh Mallard

The first signs of life I saw were seagulls, and the ducks. Since it is still early spring, the foliage was just beginning to fill in. The trail around the marsh seems fairly new, and there are signs along the trail that give an overview of the foliage and wildlife to be seen. The place seems to be a work in progress, as I also saw tires, and other refuse scattered about in the marsh.

Mill Creek Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs near the waters edge

Mill Creek Marsh Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

Mill Creek Marsh Myrtle Warbler

Myrtle Warbler

As I wandered about, I began to appreciate the abundant bird life. Apparently, the recovery work at this site is already having a very positive impact.

Mill Creek Marsh Robin

American Robin

I’m not a regular Birder but I’ve added the Mill Creek Marsh to my list of places to return to. Check it out if you want to get a little taste of the NJ Wetlands. All of the photos were taken with a Nikon D200 and 300mm f/4 or 18-35mm lens.


  1. I really like the first shot, the NY landscape. It is probably more enjoyable from here without the smell.

  2. Thanks Michael… The smell wasn’t too bad after a while :)

  3. I’m sure this is the place that was featured on a Bill Oddie TV show last year that was on British TV. I think it’s so important that cities have an area for wildlife nearby. Personally I find the best wildlife watching is done in the cities where there is more food around for birds and other animals.

  4. April,

    I believe it was also featured in “The Sopranos” as the place where they were dumping asbestos. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Great photo.

  6. I really ike that American Robin picture. What lense are you using on these?
    I tried to read Exif but could not.
    Nice shots!

  7. Zaba,

    That image was taken with the older Nikon 300mm f/4. The wide shots were taken with the Nikon 18-35.

    Thanks for looking – Sean

  8. Efforts to eradicate the invasive reeds (also “knotwood”) have led to wide poisonings in the area adjacent to Mill Creek at the north end of Millridge Road in Secaucus. Local animal deaths extend to birds, ground hogs, rabbits. Human impacts are unclear. Vegetation has been wiped out in pockets. There it is yellow and dead. Whoever had the idea of poisoning everything “to restore the Meadowlands” may have a substantial career ahead in New Jersey politics. What they did in fact was to test out new chemicals for eradication. What a helluva lie, claiming that these tests would be good for the Meadowlands.


  1. A Tranquil Patch of the Meadowlands | Mindful Walker - [...] the blogger of Dust and Rust, I was sort of put off when I first entered the trail through …

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