|Route 49, Millville, NJ |
Phone: (609) 984-0547
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking available on site. During hunting season, it is advisable to wear bright colors.
Turn Right out of the Union Lake WMA entrance onto CR 608/Carmel Rd.
Follow Carmel Rd. for 2.5 miles to the Stop
sign and turn Left. Turn Left after 1/10th of a
mile at the light onto CR 634/Nabb Ave. Follow Nabb Ave. for 1.7 miles to the Stop sign at its end and turn Right onto Route 49. Continue
down Route 49 for 1.5 miles and turn Left into the Buckshutem WMA parking area. There is a wooden sign outside the entrance, but it is
somewhat hard to see.
To get to the second access point at Buckshutem WMA, proceed as follows: Turn Left out of the parking area onto Route 49. Follow Route 49 for 1.7 miles and turn Left at the light onto CR 553/Gouldtown-Woodruff Road. Continue down CR 553 for 0.6 miles and turn Left onto CR 670 at the traffic light. After 2.2 miles, near mile marker 5, turn Left at the sign into the WMA parking lot. There is a wooden sign for Buckshutem WMA, but once again, it is somewhat hard to see. Map
|Female Red-bellied Woodpecker||Kevin Karlson
||The western portion of Buckshutem WMA is approximately 3,000 acres of relatively untouched woodland surrounded by residential development, while the 500-acre
eastern portion is a mix of fallow and agricultural fields interspersed by woods. A habitat project
to benefit grassland and early successional species, such as Northern Bobwhite, eastern
cottontail rabbit, Savannah and Grasshopper Sparrows and Bobolink, was begun in 2002. The WMA features several unmarked trails, one of which leads 1.5-miles from the parking area on Route 49 through the woods to a point just 100 yards south of the parking area on Buckshutem Rd. (or vice versa). Come with a friend and park a car at each end and spend an enjoyable few hours hiking through the woods. Town Branch, the headwaters of Mill Creek, parallels this trail as it reaches Buckshutem Rd. Listen for gray tree frogs and carpenter frogs in the spring and summer. Hikers may cross paths with an eastern box turtle or see a white-tailed deer or Wild Turkey depending on the season.
Winter birds are hard to find because
they tend to be quieter than during the breeding season. However, patience can be rewarding. Stand or sit quietly; listen and look. Carolina Chickadees flit from tree to tree gleaning insects from under tree bark. Look for small movements and you may see a Brown Creeper or Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Listen for the nasal yenk of the White-breasted Nuthatch or the tap tap tap of a Hairy Woodpecker. Keep a keen eye out for the white ‘flag’ of a white-tailed deer.
Buckshutem comes alive in spring with both woodland and grassland migrants and breeders. Look for the acrobatic flight of Acadian, Willow and Great Crested Flycatchers as they dart after insects. Listen for the chik-brrr that indicates a Scarlet Tanager is nearby or the
flute-like ee-o-lay of a Wood Thrush. Scan the fields on Buckshutem Rd. for Savannah and Grasshopper Sparrows and Bobolink.
The lushness of the foliage makes
summer birding challenging. This is a great time to bone-up on your bird song ID skills! Once you are familiar with bird songs, you will be amazed at how many species of birds you will “find.” Search stands of milkweed for a great diversity of butterflies including monarchs, swallowtails, skippers and metalmarks.
Look for migrating Red-tailed, Cooper’s and Broad-winged Hawks along the woodland edges and American Kestrel hovering over the fields. Walk the field edges and look for sparrows
feeding on weed seeds and left-over grain.