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Holgate is the southern end of Long Beach Island, NJ and a part of Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. In previous years I often went there to photograph Snowy Owls, and I tried to do that again three days ago. Unfortunately surveyors were roaming Holgate that day, traipsing into dune parts that Snowy Owls frequented. As a result, even though I hiked the length of Holgate and back, there was not a single bird that day, except for one seagull.

Surveyor at Holgate.

It was cold, starting at 17°F (-8°C) and slowly climbing to above freezing. As the tide was coming in, the wind made beautiful waves.

Waves at Holgate.

Wave at Holgate.

A Herring Gull was standing on the beach. I approached it carefully, 20 steps at a time, taking a camera shot before continuing.

Herring Gull.

When I finally got too close, it flew up holding a piece of clam in its beak.

Herring Gull snatching food from beach.

Herring Gull turning right.

Herring Gull turning left.

Near the entrance to Holgate, there were a dozen surfers.

Two surfers at Holgate, one with a paddle.

Surfer almost hidden by wave.

Barrier and surfer at Holgate.

When I came home and looked at the photos on my computer, I saw some Long-tailed Ducks in several of them.

Two Long-tailed Ducks in the surf.

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