Back Bay Birds


Today was one of those glorious ones that spring on you. The weather prediction had been for clouds and rain. Instead the storm system passed through overnight and today was sunny, warm and delightful, the nicest day of the year so far. Ellen and I spent some time at Shell Bay Landing overlooking the back bay between the Garden State Parkway and Stone Harbor enjoying the water birds like this Snowy Egret fishing for his lunch.


On shore some Brant (a small goose) were feeding in the marsh grass and reeds.


Laughing Gull numbers are growing, most looking sharp in their breeding plumage, with a deep red bill, charcoal black head and white eyelids.


Willets are robin-sized shorebirds that don’t look like much sitting still, but in flight they have wide stripes of black and white on the wings, and a call that says their name, “will-willet.”


There were a few Herring Gulls around, too, larger than the Laughing Gulls with that large red spot on the lower bill.


But the star attraction, and the reason we’d come to this spot, was a large flock of Whimbrel, large shorebirds with long curved bills and stripey heads that are often hard to find. We had good looks at a few dozen of them before something spooked the flock and they flew off. A fun hour out in the lovely spring sunshine.

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