Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Brig & Barnegat: Part 2

Barnegat Lighthouse State Park has the light house, of course, but also a looooong stone jetty that reaches out into the Barnegat Inlet.

It was a pretty quiet day at Barnegat, too.  By far the most common waterfowl near the jetty were Red-Breasted Mergansers. 

Other groups of shorebirds were present, here and there, and not in large numbers.  A group of about 15 Ruddy Turnstones were investigating the rocks. 

Harlequin Ducks are always a treat.  They never look quite real to me, with their bold markings.

The first time I visited Barnegat, we saw all three kinds of Scoters.  This time, Surf Scoter is the only kind that made an appearance.  The black bird below is a male Surf Scoter, although its plumage and bill does not match a regular adult.  It may be transitioning from juvenile plumage.  The brownish one is a female Common Eider.  There were hundreds of eiders floating just down the coast in large rafts.

Common loons were also scattered more or less all over, being solitary fishermen.

Near the end of the walk, we found a Scaup hen with a big problem.  The bird did not seem distressed, however.  I'm hoping a knock up against a rock will solve its problem!

Lastly, we found a Horned Grebe, far out in the inlet.

And, as usual, I did not get pictures of two of the most memorable parts to the day.  First, three Northern Gannets did fly-bys of  the end of the jetty.  I haven't seen Gannets since Cumberland Island in Georgia, which was probably five years ago.  And second, I was using my scope to try and spot a loon when, instead, I saw a seal's face looking back at me!  I don't know why, but I never realized New Jersey's coast had seals! 

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