We go to the Shore to cool off, right? Not last Saturday! Sandy Hook was as steamy and stifling as Manhattan, despite intense winds that had the flags in whipping/ripping full-out mode. Nonetheless, Jeanette Hooban (the original Intrepid) and I made the most of our day there on Saturday.
You should know that The Powers That Be want to desecrate / destroy forested areas of Sandy Hook, in order to construct buildings to house vehicles. Any chance you get to protest this travesty, take it. Sandy Hook is a key segment of the Atlantic Flyway, essential to birds in migration in spring and autumn. Nests of rare, threatened, endangered species are everywhere. Write editors and congresspeople, insisting they honor habitat, for once facilitating the lives and hatchings of these spectacular birds!
Star of the day was either the black skimmer skimming on the ocean side (they usually prefer bays and impoundments), or the strutting oystercatcher, also on the ocean side, so near hordes of New Yorkers screaming in the surf.
The winds were so high that all water surfaces were pleated like the cotton plisse of childhood summer pajamas. Neither the ospreys nor the egrets could see into the water to fish. Seven egrets surrounded an oxbow pond, beside the Shrewsbury River. It seemed that they were stabbing blindly in quest of lunch.
That entire day, –and we confirmed this with other birders–, we only saw one osprey ‘packing a lunch,’ the waters were so turbulent. This one was flying practically from the entry toll booths (it’s free to bird there!) to a nest on a chimney of the officers’ (ruined) houses, where his mate searched plaintively. We told her, “He’s on his way. He’s having a bad day at the office.”