A New Year’s Day Walk In The Rain And Fog On Long Beach Island, New Jersey.
As readers of my previous blog post would know I spent New Year’s Eve alone at the LBI Hotel in Surf City on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. It was a quiet and reflective night. My plan for New Year’s Day, when I decided to travel to Long Beach Island, was to hike along the shore, photograph the sunrise and hopefully capture some photographs of shore birds that migrate here for the winter. I was actually wishing for some cold, clear weather for my visit. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate.
It was foggy with a light rain when I awoke early on New Year’s morning. The temperature was a mild 55 degrees. It was not what I had hoped for. Well, I wasn’t going to sit in my hotel room so I donned my rain gear and was off to explore. A friend had told me about the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Reserve on nearby Cedar Bonnet Island. It is located along one of the most active paths of the Atlantic Flyway used by migrating birds in the eastern United States. I left the hotel and was soon walking over the bridge that led to the island.
As I walked over a bridge between Long Beach Island and much smaller Bonnet Island I heard ducks quacking in the distance, out of sight because of the fog. I was soon able to see small flocks of ducks swimming in the waters of the bay beneath the bridge. The fog made it almost impossible to identify and take photos of ducks. However, a few flocks of ducks, these female bufflehead ducks and .
It had started to rain again and I wasn’t checking my iPhone maps on my walk. The rain stopped and I checked my maps and I now realized I had walked too far and was on the bridge that connected the mainland to the barrier islands.
So I turned around and found the access to the Forysthe National Wildlife Refugee on my return walk. The vast salt marshes could be seen to the south until they disappeared in the distance in the fog.
This well maintained trail first proceeded through a thick growth of pine, cedar and maple trees. There were dozens of birds chirping and fluttering in the trees.
overlooking the wetlands and salt marshes. Along the way, around a curve in the trail, I came face to face with a hawk, I am not sure of the species. We looked at each other as I tried to unwrap my camera from the plastic bag that was protecting it from the rain. Of course, the hawk had flown by the time I got my camera out. It was still a nice experience.
The rains stopped for a while as I walked back from the pavilion. I was now able to photograph some of the yellow-rumped warblers that were flying and fluttering in the trees along the trail. This is a male and this
I walked back to Long Beach Island when the rain began again. There were a few herring gulls near the bridge Here is a link to some more not so good photographs of the birds I saw on my hike. Long Beach Island morning walk birds. January 1 2022.
I wanted to see the ocean so I took a quick walk to the shore. It was about a 1/2 mile past the LBI hotel
After walking through the flooded streets I came to the beach, walked up the dunes and watched the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing to shore on this dark and dreary morning. It kept me in the somber and reflective mood that brought me to the ocean on this New Year’s Day. I had hope for some better weather, but in life, we don’t always get what we want, and we have to make the best with what we are given. And I did enjoy me six mile hike in the fog and rain. I am planning on returning to this beautiful island before the winter ends. Hopefully the weather will be better, so I can share more photos of its beauty. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike.