Monday, March 31, 2014

Manasquan Inlet 3/31--Northern Gannet

A trip to the dentist this morning put me in the vicinity of Manasquan Inlet, so despite the blustery butt end of the seemingly endless storm we had this weekend, I stopped there for a bit. And was immediately disheartened by the wind. I know "good" gulls are there, but I just can't bring myself to make an attentive scan of them, looking through my teary eyes and wind-shaken scope for a "white-winged gull" that's a little different than all the other gulls in their various cycles. With gulls I slam up against the limits of my birding abilities (and weather endurance) and it irritates me that I can't make myself get better.

However, I did see about 30 Purple Sandpipers close up, which are always fun to find and I saw my first Northern Gannet of the year right after it occurred to me actually look up over the water to see if I could fine one. I was surprised to find out that I hadn't seen a gannet yet this year--kind of embarrassing. In face my whole list today is a little embarrassing--more discipline required.
11 species
Brant  20
Surf Scoter  5    two flying, three on water
Long-tailed Duck  8
Red-breasted Merganser  1    inlet
Common Loon  25
Northern Gannet  1
Purple Sandpiper  30
Ring-billed Gull  50
Herring Gull  5
Great Black-backed Gull  2
Rock Pigeon 1
A stop at Lake of the Lilies didn't turn up anything new--there were at least 500 ducks on the lake and they were all scaup (Lesser). Again, I didn't feel like sorting through all those scaup looking for a Greater. That's too much like work.

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