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Black Skimmers in Flight

  • Southern New Jersey Shore (map)

$150/person

$25 deposit to reserve spot

Use the contact form to reserve your spot

  • Length: 3 hours

  • Easy to Medium Difficulty: Short walk from parking area, sitting or laying on shoreline with option to sit in the shallow water for a lower level perspective.


One of the most graceful flying and interesting shorebirds in New Jersey in my opinion is the Black Skimmer. Watching these birds fly along as they drag their bill in the water is an incredible thing to witness. Come join me in a location where we will watch many of them fly along as they try to catch fish or even just take a drink as they fly over a small calm body of water. There are many places to watch these birds do their thing but finding a small enough body of water that concentrates them and has a chance of being calm and showing some reflections has taken me a while to find and now you can join me in this easy to access spot.

WHAT TO EXPECT: 

  • We will be setting up in one location and not moving the entire time.

  • The easy option will be to sit along the shoreline or lay prone if you choose and photograph the skimmers as they fly by.

  • The medium difficulty option will be to use a tripod (or hand hold) while sitting in the shallow water. This allows a much lower perspective and also is more comfortable to shoot than laying down prone. It is salt water but is not tidal and is very calm so there will not be any waves.

  • Birds will likely be flying by at least every 10 minutes and many times more often than that.

  • We will be shooting front light or backlight based on the direction of the wind to keep the birds flying towards us, not away.

  • These birds fly fast and low along the water so having some experience photographing birds in flight is recommended but not required.

PREPARATION: 

  • Lenses from 300mm to 600mm recommended

  • A monopod or tripod is recommended for convenience and stability while tracking these birds, unless you can easily hand hold in which case that will work great.

  • If you will be sitting or laying on the shoreline bug spray is recommended as they can be bothersome. It may also be slightly wet/muddy so wear appropriate clothing.

  • If you plan on getting in the water I recommend wearing water shoes or shoes that can get wet and long pants. If you own a wet suit that can work perfectly! There are tiny fish and crabs in the water so you do not want to have your legs exposed. Although the tiny fish do a nice job of cleaning off your skin! Please discuss this option with me when booking.

WHAT I WILL PROVIDE: 

  • Professional tips and suggestions how to achieve clear, and sharp photos of these fast flying birds.

  • Guidance of how to achieve the best backgrounds.

  • Guidance of how to achieve a low perspective to get the birds skimming the surface of the water.

  • Answers to any questions you may have.

Target Species:

MAIN TARGETS:

  • Black Skimmers in flight only - they do not stop to sit at this location

LIKELY TO SEE:

  • Black-crowned Night Heron

  • Yellow-crowned Night Heron

  • Snowy Egret

  • Willet

  • Least Tern

POSSIBLE TO SEE:

  • American Oystercatcher

  • Great Egret

  • Glossy Ibis


Earlier Event: July 21
Fun with Frogs
Later Event: August 31
Fall Shorebirds Workshop