Yes, my friends were surprised to see me at 7 on a Sunday morning. I’ve birded with these two for years, but lately have been very lazy about getting up early enough to do it. Of course I got to Sandy Hook late and missed seeing the day’s kestral at Plum Island, but the nice color the early sun brought to the marsh and their faces was enough.
It still looks like summer on the beach side of the Hook; the only giveaway to the morning chill was the fishermen in their wet suits. We pulled a few gannets from the ocean, but no loons yet.
We walked all morning, to North Pond and South Pond, Horseshoe Cove and the Fishing Beach. Off Gunnison (the nude beach,in case Susan is paying attention) we found a nice flock of sanderling and two black-bellied plovers. I should have known them by their size, but it was their fluting toor-a-lee, like a melancholy sea bluebird, that gave them away.
I don’t think I could ever tire of watching sanderlings and was glad to see such a large group huddled together against the wind. Have you ever seen sanderlings hop on one foot before the surf, rather than running like they normally do? Funny – that sight was my delight this morning!
I apologize for the odd shaped pics, but I had lens issues and had to do some serious cropping. Please do click on the pics for a (somewhat) better view.