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.
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
White Cedar Stump and Red Winged Blackbird
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.
Lesser Yellowlegs near the waters edge
Red Winged Blackbird
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.
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.