Winter Birds of Barnegat

Date: Feb. 28, 2012

Location: Barnegat Light, NJ

Reported by: Joe Giunta

Our group of 12 birders left the NYC Audubon Center on 23rd St. at 9am. We arrived at Barnegat Light in about 2 ¼ hours. The weather was very good for birding at the Barnegat Lighthouse this year with the temperature near 50 degrees. We made the trip especially to see harlequin Ducks--and we saw a good number of them. We saw about 30 of these beautiful ducks very close to the rock jetties. We were able to approach so close that the binoculars were not necessary. The Harlequins were a life bird for some of our group. We also had the good fortune of seeing a purple sandpiper, also without the aid of binoculars. The inlet was filled with about 30 Long-tailed ducks. Both male and female Long-tails flew up and down the inlet and put on a very nice show. Also on the jetty were black-bellied plovers, dunlin and ruddy turnstones. All were approachable within 10 feet. The photographers in our group had a field day. We also saw black scoters, surf scoters and many common eiders. In the gardens near the lighthouse were saw many land birds including yellow-rumped warblers, cedar waxwings and boat-tailed grackles. We had lunch while we viewed the bay. With one stop along the way we arrived back at the Audubon Center at about 5pm.

Species Seen: 32

Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Canada Goose
Common Eider
Harlequin Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Black Scoter
Surf Scoter
Red-breasted Merganser
Turkey Vulture
Black-bellied Plover
Ruddy Turnstone
Dunlin
Purple Sandpiper
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Cedar Waxwing
Carolina Wren
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
American Crow
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Boat-tailed Grackle
Common Grackle
House Finch
House Sparrow


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