Barnegat Lighthouse State Park originally lit in 1859 is an excellent area to observe many species of birds during the spring and fall migrations. A New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife program provides seasonal fencing of critical nesting areas on the beach adjacent to the park. This provides protection for certain endangered beach nesting birds and opportunities for observation.
The park also is a great location for viewing wintering waterfowl such as Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Eiders and Harlequin Ducks. The park sponsors several waterfowl viewing programs throughout the winter.
The Maritime Forest Trail is a 1/5-mile long, self-guided loop through one of the last remnants of maritime forest in New Jersey. The forests, which is dominated by black cherry, sassafras, eastern red cedar and American holly, is an important resting and feeding area for migratory birds on their long journey to and from their breeding sites.
I packed a lunch for this trip as I expected to stay longer than usual. As I was eating, the gulls became curious and quite a few came in real close to inspect what I was doing. Some came right up to me begging for scraps. You can see the action below.