Fall: This is prime deer season in the lands surrounding Eagle Manor. The herd is large and well fed thanks to NJ State planted crops and additional private supplementation. Large bucks abound (see photos). By late fall the Snow Geese have returned. Look for Wild Turkey in the fields and at the forest edge. The Dix WMA surrounding the estate offers one of the best mixes of ducks and geese of any wildlife management area. Throughout the fall, both migrating and resident birds are available to hunters, with black ducks, mallards, pintails and Canada and snow geese making up the bulk of the birds found in the marshes. It’s also not uncommon to find green-winged teal mixed in with the birds during October and early November.
Winter: Snow Geese winter here by the thousands and Northern Pintail, American Black Duck and Bufflehead are almost guaranteed. Northern Harrier patrol the marshes. Eagles are often seen overhead or perched in the snags along the edge of the marsh. Great Horned Owl mate in late December and are on their nests in January. Bald Eagle do the same in February.
Spring: The Snow Geese depart and migrating birds arrive, some to nest and others to stop to rest after crossing the Delaware Bay before they fly farther north. Muskrat, frog, turtle, snake and the birds of the marshes bring the wetlands to life. Many mammals — deer, raccoon, skunk, opossum, squirrel and rabbit may be seen foraging in the forest, especially around dusk.
Summer: This is insect time in the forests, fields and marshlands, so long sleeves and insect repellent are highly recommended. Look for Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak and American Goldfinch along the field and meadow edges and Scarlet Tanager in the forest. This is a great time to look for butterflies and to try your hand at wildflower identification.
Please consult NJ Wildlife, Mallards & More, and Dix WMA NJDEP for more details.