CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
December 18, 2016
Karen Linder led the count, and made this report:
"We were light on counters this year so only managed to cover part of the territory that we usually do, but all in all, it was a fun day, and a fairly productive one. All told, we recorded 40 species, and 1364 birds - the usual suspects, with no new species recorded for the territory. Surprisingly, we had absolutely no yellow-rumped warblers, a bird that is normally pretty prevalent in our count, and relatively few white-throated sparrows. The fish crows were a single mob. American crows were really light this year. The eagle was a lone adult, flying close to and towards its nest. Glad to see that our pair are back for another year."
"Highlights of the count included a flurry of robins gorging on the bright red berries of bush honeysuckle, the very noisy mob of fish crows, a soggy but very prominently perched Coopers hawk, and a small flock of bluebirds, glistening turquoise in the morning sun. Later in the week, two KGA members had a lovely sighting of a Great Horned Owl. They heard it calling, went outside and as they watched, it flew from the denser trees to perch on a branch where it was beautifully silhouetted. It preened, stretched and looked around for about 15 minutes before it took off to catch supper."
Thank you to those who participated in this annual event!
Sunday, August 7, 2016
This gathering gave the public a chance to tour the newly renovated Laurel Avenue School, for which so many have advocated and worked to preserve beginning in 1998. The Kingston Laurel Avenue School has been beautifully restored and rehabilitated by Princeton International Properties (PIP) and is the new home of the Yinghua International School. As part of this arrangement with Franklin Township and PIP, a Kingston Community Room has been provided for the exclusive use of all village organizations.
Read about the building's history, the restoration and funding partners, and the Yinghua School here: Kingston's Historic Laurel Ave School to Get a New Life
ANNUAL MEETING AND TALK ON SNOWY OWLS
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Jean-François Therrien Ph.D, a Senior Research Biologist at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Orwigsburg, PA, has been studying snowy owls in the Arctic for more than a decade with a team of scientists from Laval Université, Québec. He explained how satellite telemetry has provided some insight into the lives of these unusual creatures.
Jean-François Therrien with snowy owl—photo by A. Robillard
Some of the things we learned:
~Snowy owls are a top predator in the Arctic. They have a wingspan of 4-5 feet, weigh up to 5 pounds, and are one of the few owls that hunt during the day.
~Lemmings make up a major part of their diet, especially during the breeding season, but they will also prey on seabirds.
~Unlike other migrating birds, snowy owls are not predictable. They do not travel together, nor do they fly to fixed endpoints. This is the reason for Therrien's description of them as "nomads of the north."
~Snowy mothers may lay an average of seven eggs over a period of fourteen days, which hatch sequentially.
~Some years, some of these large owls move south, a phenomenon known as an irruption. In recent winters, snowy owls have been observed across New Jersey in fields, marshes and beaches devoid of trees, landscapes that resemble the Arctic tundra to which they are accustomed.
For more information, please visit the web sites below:
EARTH DAY CLEANUP
Saturday, April 23, 2016
We offer sincerest thanks to the many volunteers who celebrated Earth Day by beautifying and making safer our public lands and roadways!
During the morning session, eight volunteers collected fifteen bags of unsightly trash along Laurel Avenue in front of Rockingham. We are grateful to team leader John Butcher and his crew for tidying the environs of this historic site.
The afternoon session on the South Brunswick side was also a great success. We are grateful to BreeAnne Lemmerling for rallying her neighbors for a massive cleanup of the Railroad/Greenwood Avenue area and adjacent Nursery lands.
Items collected included illegally dumped construction debris, nursery detritus, and ordinary trash, windblown or deliberately discarded. Several volunteers also worked Ridge Road, Heathcote, and Division and nearby wooded areas.
One notable haul was this newspaper vending box that had been in Heathcote Brook since at least 2008.
It had deteriorated into a very dangerous state. The neighbors waited until the water was low, then dug it out, loaded it into this wheelbarrow, and transported it to one of the piles that will be carted away by South Brunswick Township.
Another special cache of debris was the remains of a 1990's vintage television that fell off the back of a truck and literally exploded a few months ago. Hundreds of two-inch thick pieces of glass, circuitry, and other parts were collected from along Ridge Road.
|Does a tree grow in Kingston that you would like to honor? Now you can nominate it to KGA's brand new Kingston Tree Registry.|
Tree Nomination Form