Monday, March 28, 2016

Forsythe-Barnegat 3/28--Snowy Egret

Snowy Egrets with teal and shovelers
After a rainy morning, I went out this afternoon looking for year birds. My first stop was Cloverdale Farm, another former cranberry bog turned park. I'd seen reports of early Blue-gray Gnatcatchers in the pines, but despite a thorough look through them, I couldn't find any. This park teases with potential--I feel like it will be a great place during migration. I found 27 species there, so it isn't like the place is dead, but somehow, with its combination of bogs, woods, and grassy fields, it always feels like there should be more birds there.

So it was off to the Barnegat impoundments that are part of the Forsythe NWR. My first stop was the viewing platform, which is famous for never having anything to view, lived up to its reputation with a single Great Blue Heron in sight. I drove over to the cut on Bayshore and set up my scope. The water was high (I can never figure out whether this place is tidal or just subject to the rains) so that eliminated any possibility of shorebirds and the while there were ducks, there weren't a lot and they weren't "interesting."

Sometimes, when I'm having a bad birding, I look at myself objectively and wonder what the hell I'm doing; today I was standing in 3 inches of water with a gusty wind blowing at my back and just as I had reached maximum disgust, I turned left and saw first one then another and eventually four Snowy Egrets off in the reeds and I felt much better. Put 'em on the list.

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