WHERE: Barnegat Lighthouse
LOCATION AT: End of the jetty.
Deb and I decided to catch some sun as it just gets a bit depressing in February, don't you agree? So we jettied to the jetty. E-bird reported a Pink-footed Goose at the lighthouse as it hid among a flock of Canada Goose but no such luck. Not a goose to be seen. So, we walked the jetty. Lots of Common Loons (images below in flight).....Herring Gulls, Ruddy Turnstones a few Dunlin. Interesting....
As we made our way past one lone Harlequin Duck, or I should say that 'it' made it's way past us, we ran into a nice couple with a couple of scopes 'on to something' as we neared the end of the jetty. In the wind I heard the word 'Dovekie'.... Dovekie ...? You said Dovekie? .....
Yes...they said Dovekie and allowed us to view this small little guy in the scopes. Small.....Small....7 1/2 inches Sibling states and yes, it is no bigger. About the same size as a Starling and prefers to ride 'low to the water'. It looks like a submarine as it swims across the water as it is easy to lose as the wavers dwarf it.
The dovekie would swim to the rocks, then out ...then back as the tidal currents most likely pushed it in. I had to take a step back into the jetty in order for my lens to achieve minimum focus. A cute little guy, and I was close enough to see the churning of its feet below the greenish-blue sea water ....churning.
This lasted 20 minutes or so as Deb and I, along with the other couple, just observed. I had my lens with me today as Deb had bins. The other couple just had an iPhone (sorry) and their scopes/bins. Mid-way thru they called their friends who were out in the Holgate Unit at the other end of Long Island and were making their way over. Right.... do you know how far that is from one end of the island to the other, let alone...walking from the parking lot to the far end of the jetty? Nah, they won't make it:-)
About 20 minutes into our observation this little Dovetail took flight. It landed right on the rocks of the jetty....kerplunk. Where did it go? Deb, myself and the other lady took to the jetty rocks, peaking in trying to find what happened to this little guy. About 20 yards back, we saw it....it had made it's way thru the jetty and beached itself on the sand on the land side of the jetty. It flirted with us a bit, then took off. Flap....flap...flap...more flaps.....and there it went. My naked eyes lost sight as it flew across the bay and appeared to disappear between two buoys. Hmmm....gone..... but a memory.
Time to hit the jetty rocks home......and find our Super Bowl dinner waiting for us in the crock pot. But, ....a Dovekei on our birding super bowl Sunday and a 'LIFER' for me....love those Lifers!