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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Martin Selzer
Sunday January 22, 2006
BARNEGAT LIGHT, BARNEGAT BAY, New Jersey
In addition to wonderful views of harlequin ducks all along the jetty, three themes were apparent on our field trip to Barnegat Light on Sunday 22-Jan-06.
First, it was a gorgeous winter’s day. We all commented how nice it actually was as we walked out jetty. It would not be a stretch to say it was warm and sunny. Anyone familiar with this walk will appreciate that a trip to Barnegat Light to see harlequins and the word warm do not often appear in the same sentence.
Second was the tremendous number of long-tailed ducks in the harbor waters and around the jetty. They were everywhere! We even had a group of 25+ birds near the jetty calling back and forth, very much as often can be heard with American wigeon.
Third was the large flock of common eider wintering at
the jetty this year. At least 100 birds are there this year, including
many adult drakes. We found them in the waves near the channel markers
and north jetty. Try as we might we could not pick out the female king
eider that had been reported.
Our walk back to the lighthouse was notable for 4 horned larks found by Bert Filemyr and Deborah Danila. Our next stop was at Manahawkin where from the “bridge to nowhere” we spotted a distant perched dark raptor. In short order it took to flight and flew into the marsh in front of us. After a few minutes, it took flight again and this rough-legged hawk provided a wonderful study of its under wing and tail patterns. Our last stop was at the ponds at the Colony Lakes community. These can be good for diving ducks (according to Al and Don) but weren’t that way on this visit. That as we know is how birding can be sometimes.
Regardless, it was a great day. A complete list of birds seen on the trip accompanies this report.
Thanks to everyone who joined the trip and to Bert for his help co-leading.
Great Blue Heron
American Black Duck
Great Black-backed Gull
American Herring Gull