Thursday, March 29, 2012

FOS Osprey & Greater Yellow Legs

I have been going frequently to Rt 147 by the bridge into North Wildwood looking to see if the Ospreys had returned yet to their nests. After work today I decided to go past on my way home and was finally rewarded with seeing 3 Osprey.  My favorite nest had one Osprey nearby. It'll be great to see all of them back, on nest and having youngesters. After checking out the Osprey nest I went over to Nummy Island where I saw some Red-throated Loons, Brant, American Osytercatchers, several varieties of gulls cracking mussels on the roadway and a Greater Yellow Legs.
Greater Yellow Legs

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Excitement in the evening on March 23rd

Fireworks being set off on the beach often go awry as was the case this evening. While my company was getting ready to leave we noticed someone setting off fireworks. This happens more often then you'd think and sometimes all is well. Tonight as Danielle and Charles were leaving the fog was coming in fast. Turned out when I really looked I saw flames coming from the dunes about 2 blocks from my house. Glad we have a good volunteer fire compnay.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Endangered Shorebirds Fencing

New Jersey Nature Conservancy put out a call via FB for help putting up the fences to protect the nesting shorebirds on the South Cape May beach. We have Piping Plovers, Least Terns and American Oystercatchers that all nest on the beach during May-August. The past 2 years Black Skimmers have come to the beach but so far they haven't nested here. Everyone is hoping that they'll choose to nest on this beach one year soon. All of these birds nest on the beach in small depressions where they lay their eggs. So each spring symbolic fencing is put up as a marker to keep people off some of the beach area to give the birds space to have their nests. I decided to go help put up the fencing. It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the low 70's, very remarkable for March but our whole winter & spring have been unusual. There were 5 volunteers in addition to the 4 staff. We saw 5 or 6 Piping Plovers along with 4 American Oystercatchers during our workday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

LBI ~ Holgate

Years & years ago I spent one summer vacation in Peahala Park on LBI with a cousin's family. I thought maybe today I'd be able to figure out where it was exactly I'd stayed and see if the old house from the 60's was still there. The reason why was my family were going on another 5 week camping trip. this time to the Western USA and I couldn't stomach the thought of spending all of that time in our car. What a fool I was as I missed the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park and some other great places that I still haven't been able to see as an adult! Driving down the length of LBI takes longer than I realized. It has been built up heavily with what I'd call McMansions but as I reached Peahala Park there was their old house standing proudly. Can't believe it looks pretty much the same as I remember from my youth.
Once I arrived at Holgate I found a pristine beach. To get out to the end of the island is about a 2 mile walk. I was hoping to find some Piping Plovers had arrived to take up residence. I walked out about a mile seeing nary a bird on the beach but found a seahorse on the beach along with some beautiful shells. There were a few Long-tailed ducks riding the waves along with some loons.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another visit to LBI - Barnegat Lighthouse Park & Jetty

Would I go back to Long Beach Island and bird again this year? The answer was yes. The forecast for today was for mid 60's with winds only 8-10 MPH. Another birder in a FB group I'm in showed pictures of 5 Piping Plovers she saw on the beach at Barnegat Light the previous Saturday. Awesome! I have been to the Meadows and the beaches in South Cape May where Piping Plovers have also been seen this year but I hadn't had any luck spotting any though did see some American Oystercatchers. Last summer I was lucky enough to see a group of 3 Piping Plovers but to see a larger number of them even from a distance would be so cool. I also have wanted to bird at Holgate which is the opposite end of LBI and it closes to birders on April 1st. First stop was Barnegat Jetty where the Harlequin Ducks were roosting in the sun though it was only early AM. I walked out about 3/4 way just before the algae started to get bad. I didn't want a repeat of the fall I'd had there in early Feb. As I walked along the jetty I saw Ruddy Turnstones roosting, Purple Sandpipers foraging, Common Loons (going into breeding plummage)swimming and diving in the inlet, Long-tailed Ducks, American Oystercatchers flying in tandem and courting.
After walking the jetty out I went down to the beach area but no Piping Plovers just the American Oystercatchers that had been flying earlier. When I arrived back up by the lighthouse the White Pine trees had some birds that caught my eyes - Some Golden-crowned Kinglets and Pine Warblers, some house finches and White-throated sparrows on the ground.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Second Sunday quilting Sunshine Quilts & Wrap-A-Smile Quilts

I am trying to use up some of the blocks I made over the years. I found a stash of nine-patch blocks recently that I used in 2 quilts. I do all free motion quilting on them using my Bernina 200. I'd love to have a different set-up but no money for it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nummy Island- Red-throated Loons & Horned Grebe's

I am a reader of Don Freiday's blog which is great for nature/bird lovers. He posts at least once weekly with interesting facts and tidbits about birds but also usually posts several other pictures during the week. One recent post was about the Red-throated Loons hanging out by Nummy Island.
Red-throated Loon caught an appetiter!
I had been wanting to go by the Osprey nests by the bridge going into North Wildwood to see if the Osprey had arrived yet so since I was done early at work decided that I'd drive through Stone Harbor and check out a few sites before ending up at Nummy Island. Nothing at the Wetlands Institute but a few Mallards. Next stop at the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary where I really only saw some American Robins. Off over the free bridge which is having repairs and is down to one lane. I could see the tide was out and could see birds but no stopping permitted so down over to Nummy Island where I stopped a number of times and saw only a variety of gulls. Last stop South end of Nummy Island where I found the Red-throated Loons drifting in and out on the tide and mixed in were some Horned Grebe's that were diving in and out of the water. I spent quite a while sitting observing them and taking pictures.
Horned Grebe