This morning I started at "Seven President's Beach" in Monmouth Beach as I was looking for the Little Gulls that had been reported following the recent Nor'easter.
I got to the park at 7:30 and it was still closed for parking, however I was able to walk in.
After a brief walk onto the beach, I was able to spot a group of Bonaparte's Gulls.
Scanning the flock I soon noticed an adult Little Gull !
This is the first time I had seen this bird in NJ, and the first time I got to see the black-capped adult. Previously, I had seen an immature Little Gull in Massachusetts last summer.
Today I had great close-ups of this bird in my scope for about a quarter-hour, until some joggers came by and flushed the bird. At that time I was able to get nice looks at the black underwing of this species.
Soon after I met up with my buddy Rob at Sandy Hook. He had located an immature Little Gull just north of the B-Lot parking area. Once I joined him, we were able to locate 2 more birds of this species - a sub-adult, and a full adult.
Perhaps the same bird I saw earlier in Monmouth Beach ?
Again we had great scope looks at these birds for quite a while, then watched the birds fly once again revealing the black underwing.
Later on the Hook I saw these among the 70 species I recorded today:
Barn, Tree, and Rough-Winged Swallows, Brown Creeper, 3 warblers (Pine, Palm & Yellow-Rumped), White-Eyed Vireo, Oystercatcher, Lesser Scaup, Common Loon, Great Egret, Sparrows were Song, Swamp, Savannah, White-Throat, Field & a surprise Vesper !
Raptors seen included Merlin, Kestrel, Osprey plus Broad-Winged, Red-Shouldered, Sharp-Shinned, and Cooper's Hawks.