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.
Merlin North Beach – Ed Konrad
Merlin – Ed Konrad
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.
American Osytercatcher, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant – Ed Konrad
Black Skimmer – Ed Konrad
Marbled Godwit, Short-billed Dowitcher, Willet – Ed Konrad
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.
Double-crested Cormorant, Bottlenose Dolphin – Ed Konrad
Snowy Egret in surf – Ed Konrad
Piping Plover, banded at Kiawah Nov 2012, breeds NJ coast – Ed Konrad
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.
American Oystercatcher at sunset – Ed Konrad
Sunset North Beach – Ed Konrad
End of a great birding afternoon – Ed Konrad
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/
It’s been a wonderful spring and summer for birding and photography on Seabrook Island! My Birding Flickr site is updated with Aija’s sightings and my photos from around Seabrook Island over the past few months. You may enjoy seeing the many species and action on North Beach, and in our ponds and marshes…the Piping Plover returning, Black-bellied Plover and Ruddy Turnstone in breeding plumage, Wilson’s Plover and Least Tern courting in the protected nesting area, hundreds of Whimbrel, our pair of American Oystercatcher along with a large group sighting, our many diverse Terns, a rare Glossy Ibis sighting, and the Great Egret rookery. Just click here. On the “Photostream” home page you can move your pointer over the photo to reveal the bird species name. And on the home page banner, click on “Albums” and go to the Seabrook Island Album. Here you’ll find the many and diverse birding and wildlife sightings that Aija and I have experienced through the years. Enjoy!
Marie Wardell submitted this photo she took of an Osprey at the tip at Privateer Creek back on July 7, 2014.
Marie said, “It felt like 100 degrees that day in July 2014. I had biked to the tip of Privateer Creek along Pelicans Watch beach. When I arrived I sat under the shade provided by a massive live oak. As I gulped my water, I looked up and noticed an osprey staring down at me. I kid you not, he was panting! At one point he looked as though he was damning me with his eyes! I imagined him saying, ‘If you don’t share that water, there is no telling what I might do!’ I fired off a few shots and sat back watching him in amazement.
“Taken with my trusty Nikon D40 mounted with Sigma 120-400 mm lens. Focal length 150mm F/6.3 1/640/second.”
Robert Korski submitted this photograph of two Brown Pelicans taken at the bridge that crosses Seabrook Island Road between Oyster Catcher Court and High Hammock Road.
Robert said, “It was a clear blue sky and no wind in January 2015 when this picture was taken. I used a Canon 7D with Tamron lens. Focal length of shot was 270 mm (maximum for this lens) with aperture setting at 6.3 with a speed of 1/500. No post-processing (such as Photoshop).”
Thanks Robert for sharing this beautiful photograph!