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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Martin Selzer

Saturday January 28, 2005
North Shore, NJ

Our trip to the North Shore produced some very good birds. After meeting at the south jetty at the Manasquan Inlet, we moved on to Little Silver Lake in Point Pleasant. As we got out of the cars, we immediately spotted the drake Eurasian wigeon that has been frequenting the lake. Here we also had canvasback, pintail, gadwall, hooded mergansers, lesser and greater scaup. Thanks to Frank Windfelder for picking out the female greater scaup and providing some identification tips.

We then started to move north and after scanning the ocean from the end of the boardwalk in Sea Girt, the group split up. Chris Walters and Frank took half the group “directly” to Sandy Hook to look for the female Barrow’s goldeneye while the other half of the group stayed with me to work our way north along the coast while checking many of the seaside lakes. Unfortunately, the warm weather meant no ice on the lakes to concentrate waterfowl or provide roosting areas for the gulls. In my birding experience, the north shore is best when the lakes are mostly iced over and there is a northeastern wind blowing. These conditions may be tougher on the birders but I think produce the better birds.

Chris and Frank’s “direct” route to Sandy Hook involved a stop at the Shark River Inlet where a goshawk was observed heading north. Two other stops on their direct route to the Hook were at Pullman Avenue and at Lake Takanassee just south of Long Branch. While they had nothing to report at Pullman Avenue, on the lake they found ring-necked ducks, green-winged teal and a pair of pied-billed grebes. At the Hook, they did find the Barrow’s goldeneye, several redheads, another Eurasian wigeon and a small flock of snow buntings.

My group had more of the same puddle ducks at the lakes, 6 black-crowned night-herons at Lake Como, a great cormorant in breeding plumage at the Shark River Marina and everything the other group did not have at Pullman Avenue and did have Lake Takanassee. Using cell phones, the two groups kept in touch with each other so we knew what we were or were not missing.

 

Martin Selzer
Field Trip Leader