Thursday, August 15, 2013
Island Beach State Park
Its been a busy summer work-wise and Im also gearing up for my next Ecuador adventure in the Fall. As a result, I havent been as active on the photography as I would like. This weekend I was able to venture out to Island Beach State Park and was rewarded with a gorgeous day full of amazing birdys. The most amazing thing about this place is the sheer number of Osprey. I stopped counting after 24, which included many juveniles, no doubt a result of the 8+ nesting platforms erected around the Park. I guess if you build it, they WILL come! One downside was the inordinate amount of biting flies which at one point had me completely covered, Africa-style. But without them as the cornerstone of the ecosystem, there would not be so many dragonflies, swallows and every other manner of bird. That is why I am against aerial spraying, despite the public's call for it. Putting that aside, the management of the Park has an Osprey nestcam which draws a huge NYU-hawk like following. Here's my first shots of the day from that spot. Dad bringing fresh flounder to the nest! Mom arriving at the nest to supervise. At the visitor's center, more Osprey! And this fascinating whale jaw. Lots of sandpipers, dunlin, plover and other peeps on the Beach. On the Bay side, many passerines hiding in the scrub due to the presence of Cooper's hawks and Northern Harriers. These finches came out when they heard the peregrine calling. It was a juvy hovering on the wind, harrassing the Osprey and harriers. Also tons of waders like Great Egrets, Glossy Ibis, and a very beautiful bird, the Tricolored Heron. On the Bay side is a wonderful blind where I was able to get this video of two young Osprey begging for food. On a more serious note. Yet another dolphin washed up on the Jersey Shore this weekend. That makes it about 3 dozen here in NJ and another 2 dozen or so out on Long Island. What's killing the dolphins is a type of pneumonia that is commonly found. Some theories suggest something in the water is surpressing their immune systems and making them vunerable. Here's some recent press on the issue.