Had the opportunity to drive up to NJ to dive with Team members Chet Nesley and Sue Lewicki after checking the water at the Highlands bridge.
Unfortunately water vis was typical N.J. quality and outgoing tide was a bit murky for this time of year. Decided to continue up to Sandy Hook to check water calrity there...
The interesting thing about diving with a marine biologist is that there is always something interesting to find on the shoreline.
Based on your photographic evidence, the specimen can only be a bufflehead. Females and immature winter males look similar, so I can’t for sure identify the sex, but I am certain now of the species. As well, it would not be unusual for that group of birds to be wintering in a New Jersey bay, so we’re OK on the seasonal range too.