Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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

I checked the weather forecast Sunday.  I checked the forecast Monday.  I triple-checked the radar Tuesday morning and tried our luck at sneaking in Tuesday Tweets... and our luck panned out. It turned out to be a beautiful morning with a balmy breeze, though there seemed to be a tangible trepidation in the air.  The woods were pretty quiet.  We heard and saw very few species as we hiked over the marsh and into the woods.  There were some distant calls and distant sightings, but we didn't see too many birds... until we reached the beach.

When we arrived on the sands, there was a decent-sized mix flock of terns and gulls, all hunkered down and resting.  I didn't dare get too close because I felt that they were resting to save their energies to survive the storm that was on the way.  If you take a peek at the photos, it's very interesting to note the proximity of each of these different bird species on the sandy flats.  It reminded me that even when we humans have our differences, we often come together in times of crisis in order to get through difficult situations.  Windy rainy times are certainly difficult situations for birds, migrants in particular.  When you notice a flock resting somewhere on a beach, a field, a parking lot, it often means they simply NEED to rest.  It is fine to admire them, but give them their space and let them be.

There were a few moments when flocks on the other side of Quivett Creek took off for a feeding frenzy in the tidal pools.  I got a few nice size comparison photos of the birds hanging out by the shore.  I did take a comparison photo of the shoreline landscape as well.  Inside the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in the Hay Room/Library, there is a photo on the wall of the end of the Wing Island Trail (labeled below) as it connects with the low dunes and sands. I took a photo that morning from about the same spot so you could see the comparison and the real life "sands of time" shifting of the topography of that area.  It's an interesting perspective.  The cedar trees have taken a beating over the past few years!  It's cool to see the passage of time through a local photo.

It was nice to hear those tern calls again, which for me, is SUCH a summer sound.  There's not a whole lot of summer to spare.  I'm so glad we were able to get this Tuesday Tweets in before the storm arrived on Cape Cod, and before I have to start dressing in too many warm layers again.  (double click images to enlarge)

Our List:
Downy Woodpecker 
Gray Catbird
Great Blue Heron
American Goldfinch
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Turkey Vulture
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Common Tern
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Canada Goose
American Crow
Mourning Dove
Blue Jay
Black-capped Chickadee
European Starling

Heading out to cross the salt marsh

Muted colors on the marsh

Great Blue Heron - spotted in the distance

Poison Ivy, looking pretty this time of year

Bee busy on the Groundsel Tree

Silhouette lesson... what raptor can look headless when soaring?
See answer below...

Turkey Vulture

Shades on the meadow

White Goldenrod

Bird Nerds

The photo below is displayed in the Hay Room/Library inside the 
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History... don't miss the comparison of 
what this view looks like today... just below it.

The view on 9.18.18

Bird Nerds

Gulls & Terns & Plovers

Size comparison of Ring-billed Gull ( top left) with
Black-bellied Plover (lower)

Can you see the Black-bellied Plovers in this photo?
See next photo for close up...

Ring-billed Gull - juvenile

Double-crested Cormorants

Black-bellied Plovers & Semipalmated Plover

Cedar skeletons

We DID see some sunshine...

Glasswort (sea pickle)  turning the beautiful maroon it does this time of year

European Starlings on the powerlines in the distance

Salt Reed Grass/Big Cordgrass

Phragmites/Common Reed
Next opportunities for Tuesday Tweets: 
*Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster: 10.16.18 at 9am-10:30am
*Green Briar Nature Center in Sandwich: 10.23.18 at 11am-12p
Note - start times are different at each location.

Happy Birding!

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