Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Brig & Barnegat: Part 1

Last weekend, we visited two great New Jersey birding spots. The Brig (Edwin B. Forsythe NWR), which we go to all the time, and Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, which I have only been to once before.

Here are photos from the Brig part of the trip.  One of the better photo opportunities came from the only thrush that typically spends the winter this far north, the Hermit Thrush.

For the most part, it was a quiet day because most of the water in the pools was frozen. But even with that, I found one Great Egret and 3-4 Great Blue Herons trying to overwinter.  There were also quite a few Bald Eagles in the vicinity.

Another prime attraction was a snowy owl that had been seen a few days prior.  Normally, to find a snowy owl, you just go around looking for the crowd of people looking at the owl.  This time, Justin was able to pick the owl out of the snowy ground all on his own.  Can you see it?

This was a time I was very happy to have my scope with me.  With bitter winds and low temps, we didn't spend a lot of time observing outside of the car, but I did manage to snag the picture below with the maximum digital zoom on my camera.

Snowy owls are coming south this winter, like they did last winter.  Not in the same large numbers, though.  From what I have read, this is normal when a huge rise in population occurs.  Some really great research has come out of the whole owl invasion process and you should google Project SnowStorm to find out more!

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