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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Razorbill at Manasquan Inlet, NJ

Razorbill at Manasquan Inlet (Photo by Nick Pulcinella)
     Nick and I decided to head to Manasquan Inlet and Shark River on Friday to see what was happening since neither of us had been that for over four years. When we arrived at the inlet, the ocean was so calm that there was no wave action at all. The tide was outgoing, so there was some riptide effect where the inlet met the ocean, which usually produces flocks of Bonaparte's Gull feeding, but not today. We did find Red-throated and Common Loons plus the usual gull species and some Gannets.
Purple Sandpipers
      We then drove to Shark River Inlet and were immediately shocked when we discovered there were about 300 Mute Swans swimming around. For the record, Mute Swans are far from being mute. There was quite a lot of grunts and squeals among all those swans. Am Wigeons, Black, Mallards and Ruddy Ducks were spotted along with Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers. After driving around the inlet and birding along the ocean we decided to go back to the inlet for another look before heading home. We arrived and I told Nick there was a close Common Loon that would make a good photo. As he was getting ready to walk over to the loon, Nick yells there's a Razorbill flying into the inlet. Well, it flew right by us and landed in the inlet but unfortunately landed on the other side of the channel. We wanted to get a closer look and better pictures, so we drove around to the opposite side, which took us about 15 minutes. As we arrived, we were hoping the Razorbill was still there. It was! We watched the bird for a good 40 minutes from 20 feet away to about 300 feet.  We finally left there satisfied with our photos and pleased that the Razorbill made its appearance when it did..

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