Moments: Barnegat Light

Once past the terror of the jetty rocks, a rush of wind and an expanse of space… and ducks.

Birders caught in a quandry about the identity of the long-tailed (or are they pin-tailed?) ducks paddling and diving along the inlet at Old Barney’s feet.

(A good enough reason for me to continue calling them oldsquaw… politically incorrect or no…)

The oddly painted costume of the harlequin duck is distinct and well worth the hours long drive to see them.

Random teeterings and dawdlings of dunlin, turnstone and purple sandpiper.

Tears that come at the memory of another visit here, a lifetime ago. I turn around confounded by the wall of wind… heedless of how fast and far I’ve come.

I try to imagine this place in summer, as most would know it… waves glitter a thousand small suns, the long rhythm of the surf, a herring gull’s call like a rusty pulley, the clatter and crunch of periwinkles, scallops and skate egg casings, the sight of a black skimmer slitting the seam between two worlds.

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See any good birds yourself this weekend?


Oh… and I ran into Beth out ogling the harlequins! Small world…

6 thoughts on “Moments: Barnegat Light”

  1. Beautifully written post Laura. I was there with you. I did see “Oldsquaw”, all three Scoters and a number of other winter ducks this weekend on Lake Ontario. A pair of Harlequins are at a park closer to Toronto and there is a steady pilgrimage of birders stopping by. I was not one of them,although I would love to see one.

  2. This is beautiful, Laura. Your words paint such a vivid picture full of details and feelings.

    As for birds, I’d say northern harriers were the highlight of my weekend. A male and a female–I think they might be an item.

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