Wanamassa Birds

I frequently stroll the streets of Wanamassa, NJ, with camera at the ready to take pictures of birds.

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Location: Ocean, New Jersey, United States

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Lunch-Time Duck Hunt Yields Variety

Went out specifically looking for ducks at lunch time today hoping to see some that I know can be found here-abouts at this time of year. I visited Fletcher Lake that divides Ocean Grove from Bradley Beach. And, indeed, I succeeded in adding the American Black Duck to my year's list, but that was it for new ducks. At first, the pair were way out in the middle of the lake, but later they came much closer, albeit with their backs to me.

The other ducks I saw were Mallards, of which there were plenty and of which I took no photos, a male hooded merganser (there was no sign of a female) and a red breasted merganser that astonished me by the distance it traveled under water each time it dived.

Of course, gulls were in great abundance, and in spite of eschewing pictures of the Mallards, I took a couple of close-ups of these two gulls without really knowing what they were. With helps from a birding friend, I realize that they are both Ring Billed Gulls, the first an adult and the second is a youngster in its second winter -- note the gray legs and beak.

There were two non-duck, non-gull highlights to my outing. First, I added Great Crested Cormorant to my year's list. There were quite a few of them around although nowhere near as many as we see in the summer.

And finally, I had another encounter with a Great Blue Heron. This bird was sitting on the water's edge on the Bradley Beach side of the lake. I first saw it through some brush and grabbed a quick shot for fear it might fly off at my approach. But it all but ignored me and allowed me to get very close, as you can see from the last shot.


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