Wednesday, May 6, 2015


It seems like a long time ago now, but two weekends ago we were at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey, affectionately known as 'the Brig' (its old name was Brigantine NWR).

The Brig has an 8-mile auto tour route.  But this time we walked it.  Twice!  We have walked a portion of it before, two winters ago, when snow closed the roads and we REALLY wanted to see a Snowy Owl.  This time we hiked the auto route on Saturday, then came back Sunday and did it over with a few trail segments to up the mileage.

First up was a pair of white egrets:  a Great Egret and a Snowy Egret.  These guys actually look fairly similar, but the size differential is huge:

Another treat right at the start of Saturday's walk was a flock of 40+ Glossy Ibis.  In the right light, they are a surprisingly warm shade of cinnamon, for a bird that usually looks iridescent black.

Some other highlights from both days included a White Pelican.  This guy was faaaaar out in one of the pools, but was unmistakable.  They're huge!

We also saw 6 American Avocets, but they were even farther out and required a scope to even see them.  Even so, we were surprised to find both unusual species with so little heartache :)

Ospreys were everywhere.  Many couples were taking advantage of the nesting posts located near the drive.  This one has a fish, or at least, part of one.  

Near the end of the loop, or the salt marsh part of it, anyway, we found an American Oystercatcher.  This is a comically striking bird, and I can't remember seeing one up and out of the water like this before.  

Lastly, we found this directional sign that had a sticker attached.  It said, "I'd rather be birding."  It cracked me up because, geez, what else would you be doing mid-way through a big wildlife refuge like this!

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