Sunday, November 11, 2007


Yes, my friends were surprised to see me at 7 on a Sunday morning. I've birded with these two for years, but lately have been very lazy about getting up early enough to do it. Of course I got to Sandy Hook late and missed seeing the day's kestral at Plum Island, but the nice color the early sun brought to the marsh and their faces was enough.
It still looks like summer on the beach side of the Hook; the only giveaway to the morning chill was the fishermen in their wet suits. We pulled a few gannets from the ocean, but no loons yet.
We walked all morning, to North Pond and South Pond, Horseshoe Cove and the Fishing Beach. Off Gunnison (the nude beach,in case Susan is paying attention) we found a nice flock of sanderling and two black-bellied plovers. I should have known them by their size, but it was their fluting toor-a-lee, like a melancholy sea bluebird, that gave them away.
I don't think I could ever tire of watching sanderlings and was glad to see such a large group huddled together against the wind. Have you ever seen sanderlings hop on one foot before the surf, rather than running like they normally do? Funny - that sight was my delight this morning!

I apologize for the odd shaped pics, but I had lens issues and had to do some serious cropping. Please do click on the pics for a (somewhat) better view.


Mary said...

Funny, you are talking about birds that would be lifers for me, so I'll just say your photos are wonderful. Yes, I clicked to enlarge them but it wasn't necessary. They are perfect. Nice to have some "old shoe" birding friends to rise and shine for...

Susan Gets Native said...

Did someone say NUDE BEACH?
*ears perk up*

dguzman said...

Toor-a-lee -- isn't that an Irish lullaby?

Your pics are cool; wish I were there!

Susan said...

Cute photo of the sanderlings! (just noticed spell-check doesn't like "sanderlings")

KGMom said...

I like the cropped photos--looks very artsy.

Anonymous said...

A windy beach.
Sanderlings hop on one foot
when the surf comes in.

(Or something like that. What a vivid image!)

LauraHinNJ said...

Mary: I nearly spit my coffee across the desk with your *old shoe* comment! Yeah - they're old guys, but great friends and we spend most of our birding time bs-ing. Great fun!

Susan: Yeah, I knew that would get your attention. It's more the other type of nude beach, though, and the birder needs to be careful of wandering too far off into the dunes for finding something other than a good bird or two.

Delia: Sounds likely. ;-)

Susan: I can never decide whether to use 'sanderling' or 'sanderlings" myself.


KGMom: Thanks.

Dave: ;-) It was really very funny to see them doing that - not conducive to haiku - I guess.

Owlman said...

Quick hi from a fellow NJ birder. Great site. I finally took the plunge into blogging I added your blog to my essential reading list at

Keep up the great work.

LauraHinNJ said...

Owlman: Thanks for the visit.