Bird Watching Primer at ‘Wings Over LBI’ Program March 17  

Mar 07, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill A common eider in Barnegat Inlet

To learn more about winter birding, the Southern Ocean Birding Group will host the seventh annual Wings Over Long Beach Island Day on Saturday, March 17, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park visitors center. It is suitable for the whole family and newcomers.

The indoor-outdoor program is held in partnership with the Friends of the Barnegat Lighthouse, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences and the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.

Sue Puder, founder/president of the birding group, said that according to William J. Boyle, author of A Guide to Bird Finding in New Jersey, Barnegat Inlet is one of the best places to look for such species as the northern gannet, common and king eiders, harlequin duck and black-legged kittiwake. Other species that can be viewed are the red-breasted merganser, scoter, purple sandpiper, long-tailed duck, snow bunting, horned lark, Ipswich sparrow, red-throated grebe and common goldeneye.

Puder said that at 10 a.m., she would be at the visitors center to welcome participants and outline the day’s activities. At 11, the birding group will host “12 Months of Birding in New Jersey – Raptors of New Jersey” at the Foundation as part of the Loveladies organization’s Science Saturday program. There is a $5 fee for Foundation nonmembers.

Puder, who is author of New Jersey Birds and Beyond, will be joined by Greg Prelich, birding group member and naturalist for Ocean County Parks and Recreation.

At 1 p.m. at the visitors center, Vinny Turner will discuss the Cedar Bonnet Island Restoration project. Turner is a wildlife biologist for the Edwin B. Forysthe National Wildlife Refuge.

Throughout the day at the park, birding group members will be stationed along the concrete jetty with binoculars and scopes to help people locate birds and will be on hand to answer questions.

In addition, bird viewing will be available on the elevated platform at the Foundation, which overlooks some of the last natural marshes on Long Beach Island.

The birding group meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Hunting Shanty at Tuckerton Seaport at 7 p.m. The next meeting will be April 5.

For more information, call Puder at 609-698-2106.  —E.E.

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