Memorial Day at Sandy Hook was sunny. Memorial Day at Sandy Hook was windy. A strong south wind and a very bright sun battled all afternoon as we (we being Daisy, me, and various and sundry of Daisy’s relatives) tried to eat outdoors and enjoy ourselves at Sandy Hook, NJ. Of course, like the last time I made a visit Sandy Hook, Patrick, who leads bird walks AT Sandy Hook, was not there, having forsaken his local haunt for the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. So we were again without guidance but again we somehow, against all odds, managed to find some birds (actually, if you can’t find birds at Sandy Hook, well, maybe birding isn’t really your thing).
Oh, yes, I know Memorial Day was two weeks ago but I figured that it only makes sense to write about it now, so that I might truly get into the spirit of the holiday by memorializing it. Or something.
Anyway, we mostly saw birds in the air, seeing as the wind was blowing absurdly hard and to see a bird in a tree full with leaves that are continuously blowing around is, well, nearly impossible. But the birds in the air were pretty cool.
Great Egret at Sandy Hook
Osprey at Sandy Hook
We also saw a bunch of ducks, all four expected gulls, a Broad-winged Hawk, and a host of common passerines. But I got the most enjoyment watching a Boat-tailed Grackle trying to drive away a Fish Crow. The aerial acrobatics were much more impressive than the photos I got.
The grackle did drive off the crow, or, at least the crow kept going, which I think is all it wanted to do to begin with. In other words, the grackle was a bit delusional, though I didn’t see any crows go near the grackle (or its nest) again!
Anyway, we had a good time, saw some good birds, and stopped for ice cream on the way home. What more can one ask for?
Strong wind is pretty typical at Sandy Hook, though I am not sure I have experienced a strong south wind. Usually when I am there it’s either east or west.
Aww man, sorry I missed your Sandy Hook visit. A Western Grebe showed up a day or two later.
Love seeing these birds in flight!