|Birding in Sandy Hook, NJ 01-02-2012
Sandy Hook is a barrier peninsula from shore of Monmouth County northwards for about 6 miles with width
varying from 0.1 to 1 mile. Sandy Hook is owned by the federal government. Most of it is managed by the
National Park Service as the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. The eastern shoreline
consists of public beaches: North Beach, Gunnison Beach, and South Beach. The southern part of the spit
consists of public beaches, fishing areas, and the SeaGull's Nest, a seafood restaurant operated by a
concessionaire. For bird watchers, it is frequented by migratory birds and wintering bird. The latter initiated
this visit as the Jan. 1 was very nice and warm, Jan. 2nd is colder and windy. Jan. 3 will be too cold.
West of Sandy Hook is Sandy Hook Bay, relative to the east, ocean side, it is much calmer. A few coves north
and south of Plum Island and Horseshoe Cove.
Sandy Hook is at a strategically important area. There has been gun batteries to protect and defend New York
harbor and city. Now there are US coast guard is stationed in the NW tip. It is a great resting place for the
eastern migratory birds.
Cove South of Plum Island--2 Red-breasted Merganzer
Cove north of Plum Island--Hundreds of Brant enjoying the calm water. One female Bufflehead in the
foreground is enjoying the company of Brant. Brants are good company for Harlequin ducks too.
This time the male Bufflehead showed up.
Could be a Golden Eye in the far ground in the pictures above and below.
It seems fun wind surfing. I wish I was younger.
Oops, what do you do when it
Surfing with parachute? Sounds like a
1st parking lot and Ocean-side beach--A Song Sparrow is enjoying his find. Gulls frequent the ocean beach, they
flock to each wave, seem to check out what's delivered.
Great Black-backed Gull. He's got food!
The Holly on Sandy Hook is fruiting profusely, adding a festive mood. You won't miss it.
Moving north, some sesame sized dots caught my attention. They bobbed up and down seemed to enjoy the rough
water. The white patches on the face and the forwarded crown told me they are female Greater Scaup.
Who left the pile of emptied shells by the board walk?
Surf Scoter? sorry the picture was not better.
A dead Ospray under the tree. Wonder
what was the cause.
Leaving Sandy Hook, one more place,
the south shore and pond of Hartshorne
Woods Park. It is off Hartshorne Road
near the intersection of CR-8a and
CR-8b. Below is a pond, well
sheltered and a good sanctuary for
many water birds, such as Ruddy Duck,
Pintails and mallards.
Many Trumpeter Swans found shelter in the bay south of Hartshorne Road.
So did Buffleheads and Greater Scoups.
The north shore of Navesink River.