The South Amboy site has diverse habitats, including freshwater pond and marsh, salt marsh, beach, mudflats, and Raritan Bay. The bird list for this area includes over 210 birds.
The creek mouth and beach at Morgan are excellent for gulls and terns. Rarities have included Black-headed, Little, Franklin's and Glaucous Gulls; Black and Sandwich Terns; and Hudsonian Godwit.
The freshwater pond at the end of Broadway is good for waterfowl during migration and winter, including Northern Pintail, Ring-necked Duck, and American Coot. Check the muddy spots for shorebirds such as Common Snipe, Yellowlegs, and Least Sandpiper. In spring, all five New Jersey swallows occur. Least Bittern nests in the Phragmites nearby.
Raritan Bay Waterfront Park, formerly a landfill, is another point of access to the bay shore for migrating shorebirds in fall and spring, and for various waterfowl in winter. One to two Black Brant have wintered here since 2003-4.
From the intersection of Routes 35 and 36 near Garden State Parkway exit 117, head north on Route 35 through Cliffwood and Laurence Harbor. (If you are coming from Sandy Hook on Route 36, you will need to make a turn onto north Route 35.)
About 0.75 miles past the light at Laurence Harbor Parkway (24-hour Dunkin Donuts), you will cross over the Morgan Bridge (Cheesequake Creek).
The next street on the right (not a traffic light) will be Morgan Street.
Make a right here and follow the road around a right-angle turn (North St.) and down a hill (Cliff Ave.) to a cul-de-sac, where you can park.
Take care crossing the tracks of the N.J. Transit Jersey Shore commuter railroad to reach an area from which you can scan the mudflats and sandbars for birds.
| From the Morgan site, return to Rt. 35, continuing north.
In approximately 0.4 miles, take the right turn marked "Bordentown, South Amboy Business District." This puts you on South Pine Avenue.
Go about 1.2 miles to the first light, Bordentown Avenue, and take a right there.
Proceed to the traffic signal at Broadway and turn right again.
After two blocks, you will come to a stop sign where John O'Leary Ave. comes in at the left [no street sign was there in Oct. 2010]. Continue toward the new Community Center/YMCA, following the road around to the left of the building. Beware of oncoming traffic, especially trucks, on this basically one-lane road. The pond is on the right, behind the Community Center, just after the paved road turns into a gravel road.
Photo by Brett Klaproth
Raritan Bay Waterfront Park
The entrance to this park is off of John O'Leary Ave. So, follow the instructions for the pond, but at the new stop sign, turn left onto John O'Leary.
Cross the railroad track and take the first right (Keenan Way) into the park.
Walk southeast along the bay.
Bird List (as of Dec. 2009)
American Black Duck
Western Reef Heron
Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Am. Golden Plover
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Horned Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Great Crested Flycatcher
No. Rough-winged Swallow
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Bay Breasted Warbler
American Tree Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow
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