|Route 45, Salem, NJ 08079|
Phone: (609) 984-0547
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
From Nimrod Rd., turn Left onto
CR 620/Pointers-Sharptown Rd. After 1.6
miles, turn Right onto Bassett Rd. Follow
Bassett Rd. to end and turn Right onto
Route 45. After 0.4 miles, turn Right into
WMA entrance. Map
Open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking available on site.
Wildflowers grow along the culverts in late spring.
|Male Wood Duck||Kevin Karlson
||Park right off Route 45 and walk along the 0.2 mile dirt and gravel road
that leads to another parking area and viewing platform overlooking an expansive marsh along Mannington Creek. You can also drive to the
platform, but you may miss some wildlife along the way. The walk is pleasant as you quickly lose the sight and sound of the highway amid the tall trees and dense shrubs on the winding road. This old nursery is a very lively spot year-round for birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
Large numbers of Snow Geese fill the sky in the winter and feed in the cornfields nearby, and you may find a Ross’s Goose among them. Scan the large bare trees across the water from the viewing platform for perched raptors. Also, look carefully around the entire marsh for winter waterfowl such as Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal and Wood Duck. It may be quite cold on the platform if the wind is off the marsh.
Colorful migrants such as Indigo Bunting and Orchard Oriole visit the patch of woods along the road, while Common Yellowthroat warblers call incessantly in the shrubs. Be careful not to step on tiny newly hatched turtles as you get closer to the marsh. Barn and Tree Swallows buzz around in the sky, while muskrat and river otter get more active below. Look for Black and Turkey Vultures soaring on the thermals. Mute Swan overtake this site during their nesting season; their large nests are scattered throughout the entire marsh. The enthusiastic thrashing taking place among the water lilies is likely caused by spawning carp.
As birds become less vocal in the
summer, shift your focus to other wildlife. Look for muskrats gliding through the water or a painted turtle basking on a log. Take precautions against biting insects, especially if you plan to observe along the edge of the path. Listen for the cries
of chicks when adults return to feed them. Groundhogs become more active and may be seen foraging along streams leading to the marsh.
Many migrating warblers, songbirds and sparrows stop to rest and feed in the wooded area along the path to the platform. There are large resident flocks of mixed European Starling, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird and Brown-headed Cowbird that gather in the