Ruddy Turnstones are fairly common on the New Jersey shore. I have been seeing them since this Spring. Wearing their breeding colors, they are easy to spot on the jetty at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park.
In flight they look stunning.
Last week at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, many birds covered a small island in the marshes. Scanning the island through my camera’s viewfinder, at one point I saw sand being thrown upward by tiny feet. After a few minutes, it turned out that it was a Ruddy Turnstone making a perfectly round scrape as a nest site.
In May 2017, I posted photos of an Oystercatcher named T2 because he was banded and the band showed T2. He had been a regular of the beaches at Long Beach Island, and last year he and his mate, Lady Hamilton, had their first brood on the beach at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park after many unsuccessful tries. It was major news for birdwatchers. This year T2 has not been seen and some said he may have died, reason unknown.
Yesterday, I went to Barnegat Lighthouse to see if I could photograph the many birds that usually live there. To my surprise, I saw a couple of Oystercatchers, but there was no T2.
The very handsome pair walked back and forth across the sand. After a while one of them prepared to lay down.
It looked like it was sitting down to incubate. There was a rope and a keep off sign, and I did not want to disturb them so this is as close as I could get with a telephoto lens.
The other one stood nearby and took a nap.
So T2 and his mate may be gone, but another pair of Oystercatchers have taken their place at Barnegat Lighthouse.
Update 31-Jul-2018: I’ve added two more photos of these Oystercatchers.
The URL for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/2017-favorites/
In early May 2017, I went to Barnegat Lighthouse Park and walked the short (0.2 mi) Maritime Forest Trail looking for birds to photograph. Suddenly a red bird, a male Northern Cardinal flew by with a seed in his bill. He went to a branch on which a female was already perched and began to feed her in a gesture of love and courtship, as you can see in the following shots.
Yesterday, despite high tide at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park I was able to come close enough to a band of Harlequin ducks to take the following series of photos. These ducks love fast moving water and dive in it with abandon to find food like small fish and crustaceans.