The Best Laid Plans…

You know what they say, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray”. That was my weekend. I had plans to go to the Rancocas Nature Center run by the NJ Audubon Society with my husband but, alas, it was not meant to be. After running a few errands in the morning, we came home to find a break in one of our water lines. That took precedent and nearly all day to fix. While he was occupied fixing that (it would have been an easy fix but a valve broke after he tried to turn the water back on) I decided to stick somewhat close to home.

On my way out I took a little detour to see if the Lowerbank ospreys had returned to their nest. They are nesting near the Bear Creek Reserve. Sure enough they were there! Spring is really here!

Bear Creek Reserve is located in Lowerbank, NJ.
Bear Creek Reserve is located in Lowerbank, NJ.

One of the ospreys nesting in Lowerbank, NJ
One of the ospreys nesting in Lowerbank, NJ

After visiting my favorite ospreys, I headed to the Edwin B. Forysthe National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located in Oceanville, NJ just off Rt.9 on Great Creek Rd. It is home to many different species of birds and important migratory stopping point for many species as well. There are great hiking trails and an 8 mile drive along the impoundments. Atlantic City can be seen across the bay while on Wildlife Drive.

I was pleasantly surprised that there where still a lot of ducks in the area as I thought they may have migrated north already. There were quite a few blue-winged teal (which I don’t see to often) and the more commonly found green-winged teal. I also spotted Northern Shovelers, black ducks, mallards, Canada Geese and brants.
Blue-Winged Teal

Green-Winged Teal

The ducks were sticking around but some summer birds had begun to arrive. The refuge was teeming with Great Egrets and Double Crested Cormorants.
Great Egret

Double Crested Cormorant

The ospreys have also arrived at the refuge. Nearly every osprey nesting platform had a mated pair hanging out, surveying the area.

To end the day, I took a quick ride to nearby Smithville. Smithville is a little village with a couple restaurants, a bakery, and lots of little quaint shops. Smithville is also on Rt. 9 a few miles north of the refuge.
Smithville Shop

Smithville Railroad

Smithville also has a small carousel. I love photographing carousels. I am not sure if this is an original piece or a reproduction as there are no signs describing it. I am guessing it is probably a reproduction but I still appreciate the art that originally went into these pieces.
Smithville Carousel Elephant

Smithville Carousel Horse

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