As the days grow shorter, Ed and I had a spectacular day just before sunset at North Beach on November 16. We had to go to the very end of the inlet for our rewards, but it was worth it. We were greeted by a spectacular Merlin, sitting on the washed up snaggy bush. This is the second time we have seen this bird on this perch in the past year. He posed for beautiful pictures.
On the very tip of the inlet were 95 American Oystercatchers! This is a Seabrook high count for us. The tide was rising, which is our favorite time to go to the beach, when the birds are pushed in close. And for Ed, it was the “Golden Hour” of beautiful light for photography. With the oystercatchers were at least 85 Black Skimmers, and a resting group 46 Willets, 8 Marbled Godwits, and 11 Short-billed Dowitchers.
In the inlet frolicked four dolphins, surrounded by three Double-crested Cormorants looking for the fish the dolphins were chasing. What a beautiful sight! Nearby a Snowy Egret fished in the foamy surf. And always an important discovery, we spotted a banded Piping Plover. Our contact with the VA Tech Piping Plover team advised that this one was banded during winter migration at Kiawah Island in November 2012, and breeds along the NJ coast. The Atlantic Region Piping Plovers have green flags, with additional bands.
As we returned to the boardwalk, we were treated to a group of oystercatchers at water’s edge in the fading light. We walked back in a beautiful sunset. Another wonderful day at our gorgeous beach.
Ed’s Flickr site is updated with fall Seabrook photos, along with photos from our other recent birding travels. On the Flickr homepage you can click on “Albums” for the Seabrook Album to view the many we’ve birds seen and photographed through the years, along with Albums of our birding trips and various bird species. The URL is: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edkon/
Article by Aija Konrad, photos by Ed Konrad