I was fortunate enough to be invited to join what I call “the New Jersey Crew” on an outing this past Sunday to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. The “crew” includes: Judy Cinquina, Tom Millard, Denis Farrell, B.A. McGrath, Gene Tappan, and honorary New Jerseyan, Dennis Murphy. I really enjoy birding with these folks because they are all very good and experienced birders that are extremely generous with me, taking the time to teach me the ins and outs of birding, bird identification, and birding locations. Plus they are all just nice people to spend time with.
I cannot express strongly enough what a great birding location Barnegat is. As soon as we got on the beach, until it was time to leave, there was ALWAYS a large number of birds to observe. Additionally, while some of the birds were a bit distant, most birds were quite close and gave great views. It was a super day for photography with so many birds near and far and the light was beautiful. For me, the icing on the cake was the fact that six (!!!) of the over 30 species that we had for the day were life birds: HARLEQUIN DUCK, COMMON EIDER, PURPLE SANDPIPER, ICELAND GULL, CAROLINA CHICKADEE, and BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE.
So I took tons of photos and I was happy with many of them:
After Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, we made a quick stop at the “Bridge to Nowhere”, which is basically small road (Stafford Avenue) that ends in a destroyed bridge. It also borders along the Manahawkin Wildlife Management Area. It was here that I got my life Carolina Chickadee and Boat-tail Grackles.
What a fabulous day of birding, with great company and tons of great birds. Hard to ask for anything more than that.