Barnegat Light, NJ, USA
Birding at Barnegat Light, NJBarnegat Jetty is an amazing hotspot to find waterfowl in the winter, nesting plovers and terns in the spring and a wide variety of shorebirds all year round. The span of the jetty rock follows the inlet and provides a wonderful vantage point to watch and photograph these wild birds up close. Beyond the jetty there are 32 acres of dunes and beach of the state park to explore. Oh and did I mention the picturesque 172 foot red and white Barnegat Lighthouse? Barnegat really is a gem of a spot for both wildlife and landscape photographers.
The time of year that you visit Barnegat makes a difference. In winter you can find harlequin duck, long-tailed duck, eider, merganser, scoter, gannet, purple sandpipers, brant, loons, grebe, cormorant, dunlin, ruddy turnstone, snow bunting and more. While winter at Barnegat is known for its migratory waterfowl, the warmer months bring rare breeding birds. In the spring the stars are the nesting piping plovers and terns as well as an equal variety of shorebirds.
Of note is the terrain at Barnegat jetty. The rock of the jetty can be very slippery so care must be taken. Good balance and proper footwear are a must! That being said there is another option. Closer to the lighthouse there is a 1000+ foot concrete walkway with railing that runs partway down the inlet. Great photographs of the birds can also be had from this vantage point!
Whatever time of year you visit, there is always fun to be had at Barnegat Light!