Sandy Hook Bird Observatory
Pirate's Cove

Birding Highlights

The mouth of Whale Creek has mudflats that attract gulls, terns, and shorebirds year-round.  The waters of Raritan Bay are worth scanning here for loons, grebes, bay ducks, and the occasional Harbor Seal. The second growth woodlands are breeding sites for Brown Thrashers and Willow Flycatchers.

NOTE:  Treasure Lake, another good birding spot, is a fraction of a mile from here.


Pirate's Cove is located on the border of Cliffwood Beach and Laurence Harbor on Ocean Blvd. 

  • From the intersection of Routes 35 and 36 near Garden State Parkway exit 117, head north on Route 35.  

  • Take the Raritan Blvd. exit off Rt. 35 to the right. This exit is about halfway between Cliffwood Ave. and Laurence Harbor Parkway.

  • In a short block, turn right at the stop sign, onto Ocean Blvd.

  • In another block, Ocean forks to the left. Continue on Ocean until you cross Whale Creek.

  • There is a paved parking lot for about a dozen cars on your left just after the bridge. (Note: There is no sign labeling this Pirate's Cove.) Total distance from Rt. 35 is about 0.75 miles.

You can also reach Whale Creek by following the directions to Treasure Lake. The parking area for Treasure Lake is about 0.1 mile south (east) of Whale Creek.