Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Jersey Birds

I'm trying to break out of winter blogging hibernation, and birds seem like a good way to do it. Last weekend, we went to Barnegat Lighthouse in New Jersey. There's a jetty almost a mile long that stabilizes the northern end of Long Beach Island. You can see it here. For all intents and purposes, this area appears to be a duck magnet:

Ok, ok, this isn't a duck, its a dunlin. Shorebirds seem to like Barnegat just fine, too. The ducks are coming right up - below is a group of six or so Harlequin ducks.

These guys have spectacular plumage. I saw a harlequin duck back in 2005 - I turned around, and there it was, and then it was gone. We got much better looks at them this time. In fact, none of the birds seemed at all concerned about human presence, making for some nice photographic opportunities. I'll post some more soon, maybe :)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Live on Location - Cumberland Island, GA

Northern states - I know where all of our robins went! This small clearing on Cumberland Island easily held 300 or more robins. Also in the area were about 100 yellow-rumped warblers and 100 or more cedar waxwings. I got a shot of bluebirds and cedar waxwings sitting side by side in a tree - a first for me!

Cumberland Island borders Kings Bay's Naval Submarine Base, whose specialty is ... submarines, of course! Here's one leaving the base and heading towards points unknown. At one point its hatch opened and people emerged and walked to and fro on its top as it continued its journey.

Armadillos are a common sight on the island, and aren't scared of humans. Nonetheless, they look like something straight out of prehistory or science fiction, but something still vaguely cute.

A walk on the beach side of the island revealed some great birds, including American oystercatchers ...

... and royal terns, among others that might show up in future posts.