|Norman Avenue, Delran, NJ |
Phone: (609) 265-5858
Burlington County Park System
From Taylor’s Lane, turn Left on River Road. After the traffic light at Main Street, turn Left onto Norman Avenue. Proceed 0.4 miles to the entrance for Amico Island Park, marked with a sign on the Left.
DIRECTIONS FROM NEAREST HIGHWAY: From I-295, take Exit 43 and follow signs toward Delran. In 3.5 miles, bear Right on Bridgeboro Road and access Route 130. Follow Route 130 south for 1.3 miles, and turn Right on Chester Ave. Turn Left on St. Mihiel Drive, then make the third Right onto Norman Avenue. Go to the end of the road and turn Left into the parking area. Map
Open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk. No ATVs, motorized dirt bikes, or equestrian use. No boats are permitted in the pond. Swimming is not allowed. There is a River line Railroad station in Riverside, a bit more than one mile distant.
New Jersey Transit Bus Lines No. 419 Camden/Route 73/Pennsauken Station/Burlington from Norman Avenue and River Road and also from River Road and Alden Avenue. Walk approximately 1 block on River Drive. Walking distance is less than 1 mile.
There are two spots from which to view the heronry, along the blue trail on the south shore of the island. They are shown on the park map. The place where the Rancocas Creek and Delaware River meet can be seen from the North Overlook on the yellow trail.
There are picnic tables throughout the park, but a particularly nice one for a birder is the one labeled “West Beach Access” on the trail map. From it there is a nice view of avian activity in a meadow and along a wood edge.
|Great Blue Heron||Marvin Hyett
||Amico Island was historically an island in the Delaware River at the confluence of Rancocas Creek. Now a 55-acre peninsula attached by a narrow strip of land to the town of Delran, it is enjoyed by visitors for a variety of outdoor recreational uses. Most trails are wide and level, traversing meadow, forest, pond, and wetland habitat. Various points in the park afford very nice views of the Delaware River and of the flats at the mouth of the Rancocas Creek, looking north toward Hawk Island. The gravel beaches along the river are good places to find skipping stones.
In early spring (March-April), watch the nest-building and courtship activities of great blue herons in a heronry on a small island immediately south of Amico Island. The best viewpoint is from South Overlook #1, as marked on the trail map. Remains of the nests can be seen in winter. Some birds are present year-round.
Great Cormorants, Bufflehead, Canvasback, all three Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, an occasional Scoter species, Long-tailed Duck, Common Loon, and various gulls are likely visitors to the Delaware River and Rancocas Creek, and Bald Eagles may make an appearance. Yellow-rumped Warblers, various sparrows and Northern Harriers work through the meadows. Mammals such as white-tailed deer, red fox, and eastern cottontail rabbit can be seen and tracked.
The Great Blue Heron colony becomes active with courtship. Look for spring migrant neotropical birds such as Palm, Blackpoll, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green and Magnolia Warblers. Resident species such as Yellowthroat and Red-winged Blackbird begin territorial singing. Spring peepers begin calling in March, and red-bellied and painted turtles begin basking on warm days in April.
Resident bird life is quite active through the summer. Look for Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo and other wet woods species. Baltimore Orioles are abundant and easy to spot in the Cottonwood trees. Butterflies such as tiger swallowtail, question mark, variegated fritillary, viceroy and zabulon skipper are frequent visitors. Dragonflies can be seen over the meadows and along the pond shores. Breezes from the river alleviate the summer heat. Shorebirds, including Least Sandpiper and Greater Yellowlegs, arrive on the tidal flats in late summer.
Fall bird migration is excellent at this location. 20 to 25 warbler species can be expected in the fall migration, as well as raptors such as Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, Sharp-Shinned, and Coopers Hawks. Wintering waterfowl such as Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal arrive. Butterflies are still active through October.