Barnegat Light/Inlet Monday afternoon

Since I had an appointment in Manahawkin I decided to cruise over to LBI
when I was done & enjoy the sunny day. So I headed to Barnegat Inlet. It was
actually a quiet afternoon over there. From ~ 1:30pm til 3:30pm I hung out
on the jetty (railed section only... normally I venture all the way to the
end & ocean beach), sunny, 50's, windy, from the south if I remember
correctly & low tide (BI low tide: 1:47pm). Since I didn't go out to the end
of the jetty I was told the Harlequins were all the way AT the end & I was
told there wasn't any shorebirds around.
From the railed in jetty area it was quiet but good & long looks AT the
Red-necked Grebe, handful of Red-breasted Mergansers, a Common Loon, Brant &
gulls. Long-tailed ducks were further out in the inlet/ocean but could be
seen flying by. I'm sure more could be seen but I did not have the scope out
with me, just old binoc's.

Also seen were a group of 6 Horned Larks. These could be easily missed with
the sun glaring in your eyes AT that time of day & quite a few people walking
through the sandy rock strewn area. I spotted them only by scanning the area
& noticing a very still bird shape on top of a small rock, wasn't even sure
it was a bird AT first as it was at quite a distance & I was fighting the
sun. I watched it for a few minutes then it finally took flight & joined 5
others already in flight, they circled the sandy area a few times then
landed in the rock field. There some of the group hunkered behind rocks to
get out of the wind & others took sand baths & nestled into the sand.

1 other entertaining observation was a female RB Merg catching a crab of
which she got off a leg & then when she went for more a Herring gull swooped
in, took the entire crab, swam back to the jetty & swallowed it down whole
in 2 gulps. The RB Merg wasn't phased by this AT all & continued to fish &
immediately caught a small fish within seconds of being stripped of the crab.

Tuckerton Beach & Great Bay Blvd. Feb. 02-09

Yesterday I decided if it was still sunny out after I was done an appointment that I would stop in Tuckerton on my way home.

Early afternoon (~1pm) out on Tuckerton Bay-Cove/Little Egg Harbor ~ 200
Bufflehead, diving, feeding & chasing one another. A small cove along
Tuckerton Beach was still frozen over & mallards, Herring gulls & CAN Geese
took to roosting there on the ice in the bright sunshine. Boat-tailed
Grackles literally covered the roof of this 1 building as they sunned
Side note: sunny, warm, 50’s F & no wind

Great Bay Blvd was it's usual quiet self although the banks along Shooting
Thorofare had 100+ gulls.... Herring & GBB. No shorebirds to be seen the
entire length of GBB until the sod banks along Shooting Thorofare where
there was a group of 4 Blk-bellied Plovers feeding. The sod banks also had a
lot of mussels washed up on them from the high tide (High 12:47 PM).
Side Note: strong & chilling winds coming in off the water. Also marsh pools throughout GBB WMA
were a mix of ice covered & open pools.
Other species seen along GBB this afternoon (~1:30-2:30pm)
Hooded Merg's
Red-breasted Merg's
Pied-billed Grebe (solo)
Boat-tailed Grackles
Yellow-Rumped Warblers
GB Heron

Great Bay Blvd. 10-31-08

Great Bay Blvd. WMA (Tuckerton, NJ) Fri, Oct. 31, 2008; from 2:00pm
until about 5:30pm. Warm, 60's, WSW winds ~ 10mph. Low tide for
Shooting Thorofare was 4:37pm, low tide for Little Sheepshead Creek
was 4:59pm. Final “Fall” Shorebird survey.

Today was a plentiful shorebird day by GBB standards, especially
along Shooting Thorofare. I was on the beach @ Shooting Thorofare
30min before low tide & 30min after low tide & the sod banks were well
exposed, much more than I have seen them in the past. There were also
a lot of mussels covering a good portion of the sod & mud banks. The 1
odd thing was 4 Sanderlings mixed in w/ a group of 1 AO, many Dun's &
5 Ruddy T's. Not that Sanderlings mixed in with these species is odd,
the actual odd part was that since surveying GBB (since Fall 2004) I
have never seen Sanderlings on the GBB side (opposed to Holgate &
Little Beach where I can spot them running w/ the waves). But here
were 4 Sanderlings feeding & cracking open small mussels.

Shorebird Species seen @ Shooting Thorofare sod/mud banks:
AO (1), BBP (5), Dunlin (55), Semipalm Plover (1), Ruddy T's (6) &
Sanderling (4).

The only other shorebird seen today in various spots along GBB was Gr.
Yellowlegs. A few spots w/ 1-2 feeding in the water or along mudbanks
of waterways. 1 spot that had a group of 33 GYL & another near by
group of 35 (mixed in w/ these groups of GYL were 30 Dunlin & 5

1 other shorebird note: My 2nd survey stop @ GBB is along a sandbar-
marsh area along Big Thorofare. There's a sandy area the becomes
uncovered when the tide is low. Well I see a group of Dunlin roosting
& I notice they're are in an area where water is still flowing across
the sand & yet they are raised up a bit. As I get a closer look w/
binoc's I see they are roosting on a crumpled piece of blue indoor-
outdoor carpet that was either dumped there or washed up. I'm sure it
was a nice warm spot as they were in the sun. As much as it was
annoying to see more trash in this area it was kind of amusing to see
the Dunlin utilizing it for their needs. I'll post a slideshow later!


Great Bay Blvd. 10-20-08

Went to GBB to do a shorebird survey yesterday... great timing, right @ high tide (Little Sheepshead Creek HT: 1:28pm, LT: 8:22pm) .... tides were super high & many sections of the road were flooded or had water flowing across. Many turned back once they reached Rand's Marina but I drove to the end (good clearance) & I'm glad I did as there was a Pectoral Sandpiper feeding on the tiny beach @ Shooting Thorofare. Along w/ the Pectoral were 2 Ruddy T's & 2 Semipalm. Plovers. All 3 of these species were so hungry they paid no attention to the group of 4 fishermen that walked past them as well as 2 birders. So I got good looks & plenty of photos, which I'll post later.

Here’s the direct link for the GBB slideshow...

Pectoral Sandpiper

Other species seen along the blvd:
SB Dowitcher
BB Plovers
Gr. Yellowlegs
Amr. Oystercatchers

Gr Blue Herons
Gr Egrets
Snowy Egrets
Amr. Bittern
BC Night Herons
DC Cormorants
B. Kingfisher
N. Harrier
Sparrows darting in & out all over the place, I did notice Song & Sharp-tailed Saltmarsh.
YR Warblers
GC Kinglets
Car. Chickadee

Malibu Beach WMA

I was at Malibu Beach WMA yesterday from around 1:45pm til 4pm. The tide was incoming but the sod banks were exposed. It was sunny, warm (mid-up’r 70’s) & a strong breeze coming off the water. The Black Skimmers are still there in big numbers... est. 800-1000. Hopefully I’ll find time to sit & count from some of the roost photos & get a % on adults & juvy’s.


The 2 different juvy age groups are still discernible. I'm not sure if it was just me or the fact that the juvy’s are bigger or that I just had a better look at the roost today but seemed like there were more juvys amongst the adults since I was there last (9-18-08). Maybe all of the above.

Other species yesterday included Amr. Oystercatchers (counted 12); a few Blk-bellied Plovers (counted 4-5); a few Dunlin & 2 roosts of Sanderlings prbly 80-100 in each roost. Also there was a roost of Herring & GBB Gulls. After looking at my photos there was another shorebird in the background of the photo... couldn’t tell for sure what it was but a guess would be a Yellowlegs.

Only other note from yesterday is that some people just don't pay attention or read signs or just don't care. As we all know all to well! As I arrived at MB WMA, which is well posted & roped off in several areas, I had to call a couple over to tell them & a 3rd person that they needed to leave this portion of the beach. They had entered from the private beach at the Seaview Harbor Marina but walked right past the roped area which has signs down to the water basically. I explained to them about the specific areas being off limits & pointed out what areas are open to human traffic. They thanked me & moved on. Although the shell collecting couple (who told me they were on their honeymoon) moved on but did not exit the restricted area. They needed a 2nd chat & me to specifically point out the roped area where they could see it. After the 2nd chat they did remove themselves from the posted & roped off area. They were cooperative & not confrontational & seemed to get it when I explained about the protected nesting & feeding birds. I certainly don't go at people with attitude but approach from the friendly & educational angle. Although who wouldn't like to on occasion yell "hey morons, get the H out of there & read the signs"! Happy I probably should have had them read the sign that clearly states fines up to $5,000 ... I figure that shell collecting on their honeymoon couldn't be worth that! Happy

Slideshow links....