Our Owl-less Outing Near the Ocean

sand and snow fence

Snow on the beach, but no owls

snowy owl bag

This trash sure looked like a snowy owl from a distance!

seawall fence

Lots of gulls, but no owls

heron on the path

A great blue heron on the path near the cove

sanderlings

A group of sanderlings

After reading all the news articles and blog posts about this year’s snowy owl irruption in coastal northeastern areas of the U.S., we decided it was our turn to see a snowy owl in the wild. So, earlier this week, on a very cold and windy day, we drove to Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area in Highlands, New Jersey, to have a firsthand look. We chose to go to Sandy Hook because snowy owl sightings had been reported there. My eagerness was fanned even more after viewing some of the gorgeous snowy owl photos posted on Flickr by fortunate owl spotters.

Sandy Hook has several different beaches along the Atlantic Ocean for swimming, fishing and nude sunbathing(!), as well as a historic military area, nature/hiking/biking trails and a bay side. Since it was quite frigid, there were very few people at the park. At first, we explored some of the beach areas, then we headed toward Ft. Hancock. After that, we walked along a cove on the bay side. The scenery was beautiful. Unfortunately, we did not see any snowy owls, not even a quick glimpse of one. As a consolation for our owl-less outing, however, there were plenty of entertaining gulls, several great blue herons and a small group of sanderlings running back and forth with the waves.

Linking to “Friday’s Fences” at Life According to Jan and Jer.

14 responses to “Our Owl-less Outing Near the Ocean

  1. Don’t give up looking. Maybe the next time out you will spot one. At least you saw other beautiful gifts of nature. Happy Season. genie

  2. the bag would have fooled me, too. :) glad you had a nice outing, nonetheless.

  3. That’s funny, through my job I had to go through istock this week and look for a beach image to put on a label for air freshener. Wound up using an image like the one with the blue heron. The company probably wouldn’t have let me send you a check anyway…

  4. awesome shots!! ( :

  5. Fascinating that they are venturing so far south…. and to read of other bloggers snowy owl experiences. Good wishes for the festive season and happy owl hunting :-)

  6. Your comment about trash resembling a Snowy made me chuckle. A friend of mine and I were talking recently, saying that we always hope that shape by the side of the road is a paper bag … not an injured animal. Because of our background in rescue, we tend to anthropomorphize trash, always hoping it is, indeed, trash not someone in need of help. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s