Dave and I took our first Barnegat Light trip of 2018 on Sunday, February 4. It was a chilly, windy, and overcast day. We left right before the afternoon rain started to fall, but we did see a decent amount of species.
On the jetty we came across this young gull with a sea urchin test. A test is a skeletal structure made of calcium carbonate. It contributes to the sea urchin’s five-fold symmetry and helps protect the internal organs. After a minute or two the gull dropped the test and flew away, since it turns out that it was already empty. As far as the gull itself, I’m going to venture and say 2nd winter Great Black-backed Gull, but I’m not 100% (don’t quote me on it, I’m still studying my gulls! They’re tricky to id lol).
Other birds found on the jetty included other Great Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Ruddy Turnstones, and Purple Sandpipers.
Dave took a few pictures of a Purple Sandpiper taking a bath on one of the rocks.
On the beach there were a few American Crows and a small flock of Snow Buntings zipping around.
It was a nice way to start off our Barnegat Light trips for 2018.