y weekends often consist of at least one drive to hunt down some of the Jersey Shore’s most prized possessions: Its varied wildlife.
Forget the bennies, shoobies and nudists. The Shore has some of the nation’s coolest creatures, right in our backyard.
Living in Ocean County, I often think I have the best of all worlds. We’re close enough to the ocean, but the bay is our playground. It feels like home, yet there is so much to explore, so many niches we haven’t explored.
Below are some pictures I took during a drive in the Bayville area. The bird is a white egret and the turtle, a snapper. It was observed how the turtle is probably very old, given its external state. Assumed a male, he certainly had some pep in his step.
The egrets are common in our area, as are red shoulders. The latter are small and quick, though, and I haven’t been able to catch them on my camera yet.
To learn more about birding in New Jersey, visit this Web site. To learn more about birds in general, the New Jersey Audubon Society is a good place to start.
PHOTOS: Melissa L. Gaffney
Who would have thought I might actually enjoy birding? It happens to be one of the greatest pastimes in New Jersey, both of Monmouth and Ocean County.
These pictures were taken near my home, where birds such as osprey, snowy egretts and great blue heron are free to fly and live in peace.
Nests are set in far in the marsh where they cannot be destroyed by human hands.
These birds are truly just beautiful. The rawness and perfection of nature never ceases to amaze me.
I recommend seizing any and every opportunity to bird watch, particularly along the Jersey Shore.
PHOTOS: (1) An osprey landing in its nest. (2) The snowy egrett eagerly searches for lunch. (3) The great blue heron rests before flight. (Melissa L. Gaffney)