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Palmyra Cove Nature Park
Burlington County, NJ

(Official Palmyra Cove Nature Center Website)

Palmyra is primarily famous for it's migrants, particularly in fall migration: mid-August-November. During mid-September as many as 27 warbler species have been recorded in a single day. The site is known to harbor more Connecticut Warblers than any other site in NJ, with the possible exception of Cape May. Sparrow migration can be strong from late-September through November, with Lincoln's Sparrow being common around the beginning of October. Like Cape May, the best time to visit is the day following a cold front. Rarities have included: Mississippi Kite, Common Black-headed Gull, Snowy Owl, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Painted Bunting, Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, LeConte's Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow and Yellow-headed Blackbird.

HABITAT:
This 350 acre undeveloped park consists mainly of "disturbed" riparian woodland with paths through it; dredge spoil, tidal cove and riverfront.

BEST TIMES TO VISIT:
  • Fall- During flycatcher and warbler season the woods around the dredge spoil pit, particularly the south end as the sun hits the trees can be dripping with birds. There are several rough trails through the woods, which are worth covering as the morning advances and birding at wood edges declines. For those with boots, the sometimes flooded dredge pit, is well worth a ramble; here one might find a Sora or Virginia Rail, or if you are really lucky a LeConte's or Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow. In very wet years Pied-billed Grebes have nested and both bitterns can sometimes be seen. Presently outside the park boundaries to the southeast, there is a sand mining area. While it is privately owned, birders have been visiting the site for many years, and many rarities have turned up; particularly rarer sparrows. To reach the area follow the sandy road by the river south, and after the woods turn west into the site.

  • Spring -Favorable days in the first two weeks of May can bring up to 20 species of warblers to the site. The best areas are the trails through the woods. Generally, most warblers will be found in the woods in spring. Keep in mind that stinging nettles in the woods makes boots and heavy pants a requirement. Once migrant activity tails off, check out the spoil pit.

  • Winter-Things are fairly slow in winter, though recently Saw-whet Owls have been found, and over the years a number of outstanding birds have been found on the Moorestown CBC at this site.

REPORT SIGHTINGS TO:
Tom Bailey

SPECIES LIST:
287 species have been recorded here. (Updated 10/14)

FACILITIES:
Palmyra Cove Nature Park offers a brand new Nature Center open 7 days a week with interpretive displays, observation decks and restrooms. For information call 1-856-829-1900 or check out their webpage

DIRECTIONS:
Palmyra Cove Nature Park is at the foot of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge off Rte 73 in Palmyra, NJ.

From New Jersey or Pennsylvania via the Betsy Ross Bridge, take Rte 73 North to just before the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. At the last gas station (presently a Gulf), turn right on Scouder. Take the 2nd left towards the bridge. Take a right before the tollbooths and follow the road under the bridge. Once under the bridge follow the signs to the parking lot.

From Pennsylvania via the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, take the first possible right into the Police Dept. parking lot, and then a quick right and follow the road under the bridge.

DeLorme Atlas & Gazeteer: P 46 K12

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Thanks to Ward Dasey