I spent this morning birding several of the North Shore locations I talked about in my last post, starting at the marina in Belmar (NJ) before daylight and ending at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch. Between those two locations, I birded Silver Lake (Belmar), Shark River Inlet, Sylvan Lake, Deal Lake (and the adjacent jetty) and Roosevelt Ave, Allenhurst Boardwalk, and Takanassee Lake. All together, I spotted 50 bird species – not a bad start for my New Jersey Big Year.
There were some challenges along the way. Here is a photo of all that remains of the board walk in Avon-By-The-Sea, a small shore town in Monmouth County, NJ. This is only the smallest example of the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy last October. All along my route this morning, I encountered closed roads (or missing roads), damaged buildings, and at least on prime birding area that had been completely wiped out by the storm.
Still, I had the opportunity to locate many birds that would be considered rarities for New Jersey, especially Glaucous Gull (in my photo above), Razorbill, and Western Grebe. I had some misses, too. I didn’t get the Crossbills spotted by other birders, often missing them by just a few minutes. Such is a birding life!!
I am compiling list on the eBird web site and will post my results here and in other locations. Below is today’s full list.
Tundra Swan (overflight)
Great Black-backed Gull