Barnegat Lighthouse State Park in New Jersey is an excellent place for winter birding, especially for Harlequin Ducks, and I bird here at least once every year because the Harlequins are my all-time favorite ducks.
This year it took two attempts to get to see the Harlequins. The first day we came was after we spent the morning in search of a Snowy Owl at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (about 45 minutes by car south of Barnegat Light, just north of Atlantic City). It was a spectacularly balmy sunny winter day, almost 60 degrees! And we were looking forward to birding Barnegat Light on such a warm day. Usually it’s close to freezing with high winds.
Several things you need to know before heading out for a birding adventure at Barnegat Light. First, even if it’s a 50 degree sunny winter day on land, it’s going to be COLD and windy as you get out on the jetty, so make sure you’ve got some layers on, especially a jacket (and even pants) that excel in blocking the wind. Also make sure to stick a pack of tissues in your pocket because your nose is going to get runny….read more of Harlequin Ducks and Winter Birding at Barnegat Light at TechBirder