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Bird Photography at Nickerson Beach

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Nickerson Beach, located in Lido Beach, NY (Long Island) is a Nassau County operated beach on the Atlantic Ocean. It is known to bird photographers as an excellent location to observe and photograph large breeding colonies of Black Skimmers and Common Terns as well as other bird species.

Beginning at the end of May and through August, interesting opportunities for bird photography include mating activity, birds sitting on eggs, adult birds with chicks, fledglings being fed, fledglings at different growth stages, plus many more. The nesting areas are staked and roped off to reduce disturbance to the breeding birds.

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) – Juvenile skimming for fish (Nickerson Beach)

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) adult in-flight (Nickerson Beach)

During the breeding season the tern colony includes Least Terns along with the more prevalent Common Terns.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) – Juvenile standing on a sand dune (Nickerson Beach)

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) with fish (Nickerson Beach)

In addition to the Skimmer and Tern colonies, there are other species present for more opportunities for bird photography. Depending on the time of year, there will be shorebirds (including breeding Piping Plovers), gulls, and others.

Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) (Nickerson Beach)

American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) (Nickerson Beach)

Sanderling (Calidris alba) (Nickerson Beach)

Below is a map showing Nickerson Beach with a few tips based on my visits.

Nickerson Beach Birding Map

Click on the photos above for more information, click on the species name to see all images of that species, or click here to see more images from Nickerson Beach.

All images © Clarence Holmes


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  • Thanks. At Nickerson Beach, there is a good chance of capturing Skimmers exhibiting this unique fishing technique.

  • Thanks. At Nickerson Beach, there is a good chance of capturing Skimmers exhibiting this unique fishing technique.

  • Clarence Holmes

    Thanks. At Nickerson Beach, there is a good chance of capturing Skimmers exhibiting this unique fishing technique.

  • Little Brown Job

    Love that first shot of the Skimmer in action.

  • Little Brown Job

    Love that first shot of the Skimmer in action.

  • Little Brown Job

    Love that first shot of the Skimmer in action.