I was looking for something a bit different to do & found this trip. I phoned for info & was told to make a reservation, because if they don't have enough people they won't go out (enough was 6) we got there early, the cruise goes out of the Miss Chris Marina. I expected a small group on our pontoon boat. They kept coming & coming, there had to have been 25-30 people on board. Well the reason why became apparent shortly. As we cruised up the marsh our naturalist pointed out a green heron in the trees & an osprey on it's nest , some never looked up. Later he pointed out a peregrine falcon in a tower, again some had no response, (husband & I were impressed) as we came to more open water the captain said "there she is, the brown booby" Holy cow if it hadn't have been a pontoon boat I think we would have tipped over! The booby was the reason the trip was SRO, apparently it's VERY rare to see one in NJ, it prefers the area around Puerto Rico. So there were many happy birders, the captain came around several times, without unduly disturbing the bird so everyone could see/get their shot. For many it was THE highlight.
We enjoyed ourselves, we saw birds we didn't ordinarily see Green heron, who wasn't green, the ospreys, the falcon, great blue heron, willets, double crested cormorants & sanderlings. Ok & the booby. I was hoping to see a red knot, maybe next time. The boat had a bin of binoculiars, bushnell, nikkon & tasco which were FREE to use. No freebies on whale watches, that made for a nice change. The boat also had plenty of guide books & flyers to ID any of the birds you see & get more info on them. The boat is very stable so at any point you can get up & walk around to see what you need to see.
Admission for the 2 hour ride which left at 10am on Saturday was 18.00 apiece, that is for seniors & the captain very gallantly questioned whether I qualified! (55 & over) I thought it was money well spent, I'd go again.
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