Two South Jersey Camera Club colleagues and I headed for LBI, primarily to photograph the Harlequin Ducks which enjoy Barnegat Inlet this time of year and had been photographed there by others. It was a stunningly beautiful day with the high pressure bringing in a deep blue, clear sky. But, oh, the wind and the wind chill, roaring in from the northwest. It was painful to be on the walkway that parallels the inlet.
We didn’t find any of the Harlequins but we were rewarded by small flocks of Oldsquaws or Long-Tailed Ducks, identified for me by a colleague. These distinctive ducks breed in the Arctic and come south for the winter. They were fun to watch as they dove as a group to feed on whatever was being washed out by the tide, to surface twenty or thirty seconds later.
From the lighthouse we drove to the nearby commercial fishing marina, Viking Village, where there was lots of activity, including shovelling the snow from the deck of Miss Maddy, a fine boat named for my granddaughter 😉 due to go out for more scalloping. We had a pleasant conversation with the boat’s owner, one of the Larsen family descended from the Norwegians who founded the commercial fishing industry on LBI. I was saddened to hear of his father’s recent death. I had met the man twice and he was pleasant, interesting and informative (typical for us Scandanavians) about their life on the sea.
After an excellent lunch (fresh scallops for my friends) in front of a (gas) fireplace at Kubell’s we headed south on the island. We wound up at the end of Long Beach Boulevard in Holgate in the parking area that overlooks the Forsythe Refuge which begins at that point. Lots of sea gull and sanderling activity including these two.
For some more images taken during the day, click here.