Sunday, September 1, 2013

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is only 25 miles from New York City in Vernon, New Jersey. It's a great place for a day of strolling and wildlife spotting. There are duck blinds, roads and trails, wildflower fields, and boardwalks over marshes.

Wood ducks and eastern bluebirds are some of the wildlife rock stars that breed in the refuge. On a recent walk I saw a mother wood duck steer her flock of seven teenage ducklings deeper into the brush and away from my prying eyes.

If you pause on the boardwalks and look carefully at the marsh vegetation, frogs, birds, snakes, and dragonflies will come into focus.

Check the lily pads for bullfrogs; there are lots. 

This bullfrog had a tail! It was in the last stages of transformation from tadpole to adult. 
A milk snake posed for a photo while being moved from a parking area to a safer place. 
Painted turtles bask by the boardwalks. 

1 comment:

  1. Here's an update about the location of this refuge, that was suggested by a reader. I figured someone interested in going to the park would click through and get the directions, but I should have mentioned Basking Ridge which is the address the refuge uses AND the nearby town I mention, Vernon, should have been NEW Vernon. Here is the link from the FWS website giving explicit directions to the refuge. Thanks reader!