Oh yeah, I definitely leapt off the NaBloPoMo bandwagon with four days left to go. I did it to preserve my sleep pattern and my sanity. I was falling asleep early and waking up in order to make sure I put up a blog for the day, which then left me awake until morning. I was both cranky and shaky and life was good for no one. Too much caffeine and not enough sleep make Carol Anne, really tough to live with. So my apologies for not completing NaBloPoMo this year or last year for that matter, but I digress.
After getting a couple of nights worth of sleep and after enjoying a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with family we decided to venture out to a few new birding spots. Friday morning started auspiciously enough with the return of the turkeys down the road. I saw them, but the quest for a photo continues, as this is definitely not one of my better shots.
As it turns out it was the weekend of being underdressed, overdressed, and some serious bad luck birding. After stopping to take a few photos of the turkeys we made our way out in search of Bald Eagles and Northern Harriers at a place I’d read about earlier in the year in the wilds of South Jersey, Jakes Landing in Cape May County. It was bitter cold and windy and my winter coat was destined to not be delivered until that afternoon while we were out fighting the cold. That right there would be the story of my life. *laughs* This would be the underdressed portion of the weekend. We parked and watched the water for a while with not much luck. We saw a few gulls and not much more. We got out for a while to brave the cold when the hubs spotted a big bird flying toward us. I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures, blurry pictures, and lots of them. As it turns out it was a Turkey Vulture and not a Bald Eagle. We spent a little while longer and then made our way out.
Before I tell you about our next adventure I think I should stop here and tell you that Jakes Landing was beautiful and had I been properly dressed we’d have made a day of it or at least not punked out quite so quickly. Jakes Landing is also known as Skeeter Point, as in mosquitoes, so I hope we manage to get back there before summer. The photos of the tree-lined path are of the road to the water and the photo of the water is Dennis Creek.
After bailing on the bitter cold and windy Jakes Landing we were heading home when we turned off Route 47 and made our way down Saw Mill Road and then another road, which lead us to this gorgeous lighthouse. As it turns out we were in Heislerville, which I’ve seen people on the New Jersey Birders e-mail list mention, and the lighthouse was the East Point Lighthouse. The house, the grounds, and the waters around the house were all beautiful. The winds whipping the waters made for some amazing waves and some great photos.
The weekend-long birding at new places extravaganza continued on Sunday (Saturday was a family party) with a trip to Palmyra Cove Nature Park in Palmyra, NJ. Here too we struck out on our quest for a Bald Eagle. Here we did see a new to us bird, an Eastern Towhee and a magnificent herd of deer running at dusk, neither of which I got decent photos. We started out on the Cove Trail and made our way almost to the end. I have to admit I’ve never walked a trail like this one and it got a little rough at the end and my sneakers have seen better days so we stopped a little before the end and made our way back toward the beginning to walk another of the trails. We ran into a man who told us he’d spotted an owl on that particular trail but it was not to be for us to see an owl. With dusk turning to dark our birding at new spots weekend came to end.
So to wrap up, the planned weekend of birding in new spots resulted in one new bird, one old bird, a magnificent herd of deer, a beautiful lighthouse, a fabulous view of the Tacony Palmyra bridge, my first walk on a trail, one very weird, one very creepy doll in a tree, and an amazing weekend of giving ourselves over to wandering, spontaneity, living in the moment, and visiting new places.