Sunday, December 17, 2017

12.17.17  Bird Nerd Moment - Wild Birds Unlimited
South Yarmouth, MA

I'm not a shopper, I'm a buyer.  When I visit such wonderful shops as this though, I need to stay focused, because I want essentially want everything in the place.  I visited Wild Birds Unlimited this morning to get a birthday gift for a talented young bird lover.  While I was inside, I overheard someone mention that, "That hawk is back."  ("WHAT?!" Went off in my head as I was trying to stay focused...) 

Nope.  I had to find out what they were talking about.  Sure enough, right on the edge of the parking lot, on the ground was a Cooper's Hawk, who had just finished hunting.  We all were able to get SO CLOSE to this bird, who was "doing his job" (tending to varmints) as mentioned by Tom the owner of the shop. There was a mouse or a vole in his left talon.  Sunday Brunch.  I know... sorry rodent, I have respect for you as well.  The circle of life certainly can be violent, but it's real.  This hawk was pretty chill with our presence, though I did want to give him time to eat, but not before I snapped this photo with my phone.  
(double click photo to enlarge)

Cooper's Hawk
Thank You Tom for cross-posting my blog & Happy Holidays!
Happy Birding!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

12.5.17  Tuesday Tweets - John Wing Trail - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Brewster, MA 

When you're in search of birds and the weather is cold, a great place to take a peek is near any open body of water.  I often mention the diversity of the John Wing Trail because it is unique.  The main geographical feature that's missing is a large body of fresh water.  There is an occasional mud puddle/vernal pool in between the meadow stretch of the trail and the dunes, but depending on the year and the season... sometimes we have luck there, sometimes it's plain old quiet.  It is unusual to be able to hike through upland woods, onto a saltmarsh, back into the woods, past a meadow, around a vernal pool, over dunes and end up on the ocean's edge by a saltwater creek.  

Tuesday Tweets began again with an almost immediate and simultaneous Red-tailed Hawk and Great Blue Heron sighting as we crossed the marsh.  I enjoy lingering on the boardwalk, even though I typically start to stress about the water level as we cross. I've chosen Tuesday Tweet dates specifically to not be affected by the tides.  I don't usually check supermoon tides though!  They are CRAZY high!  

As we approached the wooded trail on the other side of the marsh, a lone Blue Jay perched and was not daunted by our hiking by.  I know.  Blue Jays are essentially everywhere and it does take some pretty special folks to appreciate their beauty.  Lucky both for me, and the Blue Jay, we were surrounded by such folks.  As we walked along, there seemed to be American Robins just about everywhere.  They were flocking on each side of the trail, and at closer glance, we spotted a couple of Cedar Waxwings perched in the tree tops.  

Along the beach, which got increasingly breezy and chilly, there was a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers diving in the middle of Quivett Creek, though they were fairly far off.  Once they took off I wanted to try our luck along the shore... why not?  Sometimes instinct pays off and if we had to give out some "CUTE!" awards, the Sanderlings we saw scurrying along the shore were the true blue ribbon winners.  They got SO very close to us as they foraged along the calm waves as they washed up along the beach's edge.  Don't miss Rick's (as usual) spectacular photos.  Our feet survived our hike, as we returned to the museum with an hour and a half to spare before high tide hit.  Relief! (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List: 
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
American Robin
Northern Cardinal
American Crow
Red-tailed Hawk
Great Blue Heron
Blue Jay
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
American Goldfinch
Canada Goose
Common Eider
Red-breasted Merganser
European Starling
Thank you for the found fallen nest Joan!

The bad vs. the good salt marsh reeds...

Red-tailed Hawk   PHOTO CREDIT: RICK

Red-tailed Hawk   PHOTO CREDIT: RICK

Great Blue Heron   PHOTO CREDIT: RICK


Blue Jay silhouette

Cedar Waxwings   PHOTO CREDIT: RICK

Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-rumped Warbler & American Robin
coexisting, at least for a few minute, quite nicely

Bird Nerds checking out the Cedar Waxwings

American Robin
American Crows were playing in the treetops on the meadow

American Crows   PHOTO CREDIT: RICK

Red-breasted Merganser - female   PHOTO CREDIT: RICK

Red-breasted Mergansers in flight   PHOTO CREDIT: RICK

Bird Nerds!

The subtle art of the wrack line along the sandy shore
Sanderling.  Cute cute CUTE!!!   PHOTO CREDIT: RICK

Next opportunity for Tuesday Tweets: 1.9.18 at 9am $4Members/$6Non-members
Happy Birding!