|Female Long-tailed Duck|
|Male Long-tailed Duck|
|Male Red-breasted Merganser|
|Female Red-breasted Merganser|
All of the photos you've seen so far were taken before noon. I thought I hit the mother load and I didn't even have my Diet Coke yet. For those of you who are not familiar with Barnegat Lighthouse, it is located at the northern tip of Long Beach Island. There is only one bridge on to the island located about in the middle. You have to travel miles north through little shore towns including "Surf City", "Harvey Cedars" and "Love Ladies". I stopped along a bulkhead on the back bay in Surf City on my way off of the island to see if there were any other ducks. As I got out of the car, a few ducks dove underwater due to the sound of the car door. To my surprise, one of the "ducks" popped up about 20 feet away from me and wasn't a duck at all. It was a Razorbill! Razorbills are birds that spend almost all of their lives in very cold ocean water. They are part of the alcid family which also includes Puffins. Razorbills have been seen as far south as Sanibel Island Florida this winter. Barbara, Diane and I saw a few flying off of Cape May Point last month but they were really far away. We also saw a few tiny black blobs flying over the water on our pelagic trip last year. Nothing compares to the view that I had from Surf City bulkhead. I was so surprised that the first few photos came out blurry due to my shaking. When I calmed down a bit, I got a few good shots including this one. You can see why they are called Razorbills. They have a funny shaped bill with a great white stripe through it. This was just a huge bonus to the day.