Hyper Humus Swamps

Hyper Humus Marshes, Paulinskill River WMA, Hyponex Section (8/9/2014)

This was one of the most enjoyable hikes we have done in a long time. I first learned of this place, with a name that reminds me of Middle Eastern food, just two weeks ago after my friend Daniela asked me if I had ever heard of it. She wasted no time in putting together an amazing 6-mile loop that she hiked with wonder dog Shawnee last weekend.

This place is a birder's paradise! It is filled with beauty! And the weather was absolutely perfect today. Five minutes after we arrived a guy with a tripod and spotting scope arrived and lugged his equipment a mile into the swamps to do some serious birding. Wow, what a blast! We did just about every hikeable trail in the area, following Daniela's track and saw at least two dozen types of birds, many of which I was able to photograph. But some of those little critters were simply too fast. We'll be sure to return, if only to linger a bit more and see more birds. Bring your camera and your binoculars, and a hat!

Total distance hiked was 5.5 miles in 3 hours with loads of birding!

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

The gate to paradise

Cedar Waxwing with a mouthful of phragmite

First view of the marshes

Heading south on the dirt road

Abadonded nest

Two Great Blue Herons

[Photo by Laura]


Swamp Sparrow

Heading west between two ponds

View of northern pond

Double-Breasted Cormorant...

...right above Laura

Great Blue Heron fishing

Great Egret fishing

Great Blue Heron



Lesser Yellowlegs


Swamp west

Path along swamp

Slight climb to...

...Reynold's Lake

Broken pier

Gorgeous woods

View of marshes from forest

Swamp color

Birding with spotting scope


Gorgeous color

Wood duck?

Flying Great Blue Heron

Morning Glory


Heading back east...

...between two ponds

Boat tucked in bank

Tracks along surface




Very inviting


Path winds

American Goldfinch

Heading south





Sunken trees

Canada Geese


Another boat

Group of Mute Swans

More Canada Geese


Heading west again

Another bridge over...


Looking north

Egret on fallen tree

Turtles sunning

Mute Swans

Cedar Waxwing

Heron slumming with geese


Monarch butterfly hiding

Last view before...

...Sussex Rail Trail

Tiny frog (fingernail sized)

View north

Sussex Rail Trail

Stone structure

American Crow

[Photo by Laura]

Rail trails intersect here

Paulinskill trail bridge

Snake on bridge

Back to the parking area

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
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