NJWILDBEAUTY readers know that ‘The B rigantine’, or Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, near Smithville, New Jersey, has been closed to humans other than construction workers, since September. I’ve now made two trips to the re-roaded, re-opened refuge. I am happy to note that rarities are in residence, or in tourist mode, to a high degree. This late March Saturday, we were treated to the last of the winter birds, and one life species for me — WHITE IBIS — two in a tree with a Great Egret, on the way to the Gull Pond Tower. Most of these images are by my dear friend and superb bird artist, Brenda Jones. All of them are wild nature, roaming free, thanks to far-sighted altruistic politicians of yesteryear.
A thousand thanks always to consummate birder, Mary Wood, who not only drives us in her silent Prius, which does not alarm the wildlings. But who gave me her spectacular (second pair) of Swarovski binoculars, which finally allow me to see eye rings…
In case you wonder why people bird….
Imagine Two White Ibis in One Tree — (Internet Image) We left before they did...
Great Egret – We also saw this one wading about (a first for us!) in sparkling Absecon Bay
Brenda’s Serene Male Bufflehead — We had three females, two males.
Brenda’s Intricate Female Bufflehead
At one point, we had the mute swan and the 5 buffleheads ‘in one glass’
(meaning we could see all without moving our optics)
We were this close to the first returned male osprey, — serene, imperious on his nest. His mate is due to return in about two weeks.
We had green-winged teal beyond counting, at the inlet from Absecon Bay
We were given snow geese in numbers of this magnitude – Laura Frazier at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Maryland, from Internet — our were at rest upon the waters, serenading us with that musical murmur before departing for cooler climes…
Brenda’s Spectacular Female Harrier – I also spied “The Grey Ghost,” the elusive silvery male northern harrier, coasting along the tree line in a field to the west of Route 206, before we’d even turned into the Pine Barrens.
We heard, but did not see, the song sparrow at the northeast corner of the Refuge.
Internet Image of Black Brant in Water — We were given flocks on both sides, –bay and impoundment — and overhead in elegant waves.
We frequently heard and ‘almost saw’ chickadees.
We heard and saw newly returned red-winged blackbirds.
Our finale bird at the Brig was an American Bald Eagle hiding out, disguising its imperious white head and diagnostic white tail in a black and white paper birch overlooking the final pond.