Monday, February 23, 2015

2.23.15 - Bird Nerd Moment - West Dennis Beach
Dennis, MA

It's not so often I get "free time" but suddenly I found myself with a little slice of it and I just happened to have my binoculars, camera & my daughter with me, and we just happened to be close to West Dennis Beach.  I was hoping to maybe catch a glimpse of a Snowy Owl because it was just over a year ago and we saw our first wild Snowy together right there. Well with the amount of snow still iced up and packed down, the main entrance to West Dennis Beach was gated off and plowed in.  Rats.  However, I thought, how wonderful for the wildlife there to have a break from the human traffic!  I imagined at least one Snowy Owl enjoying the semi-solitude and lack of human harassment.  So we drove up another road crossing the creek and turned around as we were, and spotted Hooded Mergansers... and more!  They are SO charming and adorable and for a minute the male rested on the shore, which I've never seen.  I wish the photos were better but we were birdwatching from the car. I felt that if we got out & opened and closed the doors of the car... bye bye birdies.  So, we had some fantastic views from the warmth of the car and we saw 6 species in less than 10 minutes. (double click images to enlarge)

Our List:
Hooded Merganser (female & male)
American Black Duck (female & male)
Great Black-backed Gull
Red-breasted Merganser
Canada Goose

Hooded Merganser - female

Hooded Merganser (male) stretching his wings

His & Her side of the post (Hooded Mergansers)

Hooded Merganser

American Black Ducks (female & male)

Great Black-backed Gull

Hooded Merganser (male)

Red-breasted Merganser (female)

Hooded Mergansers

Bufflehead (female)

Mr. & Mrs. Hooded Merganser

Bufflehead (female) top of picture
Hooded Mergansers (male & female)

Canada Geese
These guys were hilarious... they must've been resting in the road on this
semi private street near the ocean.  Rather than continue on the road, I turned
around so as not to disturb them.  Who knows how exhausted they may 
have been from migrating.  

Sharing wildlife with your family is a sweet way to spend time!   Even in the cold from your car in the winter if you are near any bodies of water.  If you're just a little patient, you may get to see visitors you might've missed.  I ALWAYS have trouble driving by ponds and rivers this time of year.  I KNOW who's in there, I just don't always have the time to sneak a peek. This time 10 minutes, was a plenty and just so rewarding.  
Happy Birding!

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