Saturday, March 12, 2011

Goose Weekend Part 1 - Ross's

Since the day started off cloudy, I experienced a lack of desire to run out of the door and go birding - this being a usual reaction to returning from birding trips. However the cloud started to clear towards 8am so I headed towards the coast and Tom's River. By 0830 I found myself at Shelter Cove Park in Tom's River, and I hadn't even turned into the parking lot before I found the conspicuous pair of Ross's Geese amongst the larger flock of Canada's on the soccer field.

These birds were particularly tame, and the park not at all busy, but they did spook when a Bald Eagle flew by. I found the Ross's again off the beach area at the other end of the park after the flock fragmented.

I wasn't highly motivated but still made one more stop: Barnegat Inlet a little to the south. Here it was mid morning and I didn't even walk out on the jetty. Nevertheless in windy and sunny conditions I did track down: Common and Red-throated Loons, Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Harlequin Duck, Common Eider. The cormorants at the end of the jetty are still probably Great rather than Double-crested, but at that range I couldn't be sure. All that without leaving the concrete walkway - however the activity in the inlet was low and I didn't feel like rock hopping all the way out.

On the way back I went via Pemberton (generally cheap gas), turned at Columbus to avoid Bordentown, and on a whim decided to check out the Delaware River at Florence. The Delaware itself was swollen and brown with a lot of tree debris floating down stream. Trees south of the riverside park had suffered and fallen, and there was a large tree trunk pulled up on the boat ramp - reflections of recent difficult weather. The river itself was quiet - the gulls that were there were all Ring-billed and there wasn't much else hanging around.

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