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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Killdeer Family at Spring Lake

I was at one of my usual haunts at Shark River Hills this afternoon when a passer-by stopped an chatted with me. He reminded me that at Sea Girt, part of the beach is fenced off to allow Piping Plovers to breed, so I set off in that direction, using the coast road. When I reached the extreme south of Spring Lake, I pulled into the parking lot on Brown Ave. to get my bearings.

I decided to check out the boardwalk, but it was clear that all I was going to get from it were sea gulls and perhaps some sparrows, so I came back to the car and noticed that an area of the beach at the end of the boardwalk was fenced off. The posted sign suggested that the area was embargoed to allow not only Piping Plovers to breed but also Black Skimmers and Least Terns.

But all I saw were Redwing Blackbirds and Killdeer. I took pictures of both adult Killdeer:

Then I went on to Sea Girt where I just about struck out -- I did get some pictures of a female House Sparrow that I saw from the board walk, but I'm not even going to post those images.

The weather was threatening, so I went back to Spring Lake for another look at the Killdeer. When I first arrived, I noticed that one of the adults was exhibiting the broken-wing behavior. I didn't get a picture, but its behavior was exactly the wrong thing to do because it drew me to the location where a juvenile had been enjoying the wet sand by the pond there. It was now cut off from its parents who had retreated to the fenced off area. Unable to fly, it resorted to running backwards and forwards at high speed. Here's a couple of pictures:

In the second image, it had just realized that it could get by me on the opposite side of the little stream and so it set off at high speed in that direction. It moved so quickly that I failed to get any pictures when it was closest to me. It happily joined its parents in the protected area on the dunes.