After a good nights sleep, We drove the short distance to New Egypt, NJ. There had been 3 Northern Lapwings, overwintering on a farm in the area. We arrived at first light but the Lapwings were nowhere to be seen. It figures I knew a trip started on the 13th day of 13th year, could never go as planned.
We stayed until 11am, hoping and scoping but no luck. We decided to take a run over to Barnegat Light which was a short 45 minute drive. I had been there before and gotten some good birds and photographs. I figured we could always come back later that day and check for the Lapwings.
According to Wikipedia: Barnegat Lighthouse on the northern tip of Long Beach Island in Ocean County was regarded as one of the most crucial “change of course” points for coastal vessels.
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park has a walkable rock jetty, which is usually loaded with birds. It runs along the shore for about 800+ metres. In the winter months it can be trecherous on those rocks if they are icy, for equipment and bodies alike. There are usually many birds swimming along the jetty, within 10 feet from shore and shorebirds aplenty among the rocks, feeding. In January and into March, Sanderlings, Dunlin, Purple Sandpipers, Harlequin Ducks, Long-tailed Ducks, all 3 scoters, Brant, 2 species of loons are common. Many gulls are in the area, mostley Herring and Ring-billed but a Glaucous was seen the day after we left.
Another great bird was the Ipswich Sparrow, that breed only on Sable Island in Nova Scotia and winters in the Barnegat area.
The birds at this location are very approachable with camera or binoculars, some excellent views. Below are some examples.
Be careful out there on the Jetty rocks, it can be slippery and wet and in winter ICY.
Ciao for Now…..