Showing posts from November, 2011

Cape Cod III & Plum Island

The last installment of my Cape Cod birding photos is from Dowses Beach in Osterville, where my dad and I wandered around for quite awhile on Saturday morning.

We followed this Lincoln's Sparrow (aka a Song Sparrow.. Those eastern ones confuse the heck out of me) around for a bit:

I was psyched to see a flock of about twenty Ruddy Turnstones, having only seen one once before...

There were a bunch of Common Eiders way out on the water but one female was rather close to the shore...

On Friday morning my brother and I went to the Parker River NWR on Plum Island to do some exploring.  Last year we visited the area in December and most of the road was closed and we had to walk through about a foot of snow.  This time it was like 65 degrees.

We scared up some Mute Swans right away:

The ponds along the road were filled with American Black Ducks, pintails, and Gadwalls.

While walking on the beach about a dozen Snow Buntings flew over our heads and disappeared.  I was psyched we were abl…

Cape Cod II: Revenge of the Birds.

Nah.  No revenge, just birds. On Friday morning I convinced my dad to drive up to Herring Cove beach in Provincetown.  We walked along much of the beach and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and scenery...

Dunlin were splashing about in the water:

Most of the gulls were Herring (shocker), Great Black-backed, and Ring-billed...

I picked up three new birds on this beach, the first of which was Great Cormorants:

I had picked this beach to visit because of the Northern Gannet sightings, and I was not disappointed.  Aways offshore there were dozens of them, flying and diving, putting on quite show.  A bit distant for good photos, but coulda been worse...

I hate to call that Sibley character a liar, but he says that these guys "catch fish in spectacular plunge-dives, piercing the water with almost no splash."  Not so... I saw many a grand splash that morning...

More gannets:

The third new bird was the Fish Crow...  I wasn't completely sure about this guy, but he was definitely smal…

Cape Cod.

I got back last night from visiting my family in Massachusetts over Thanksgiving.  It was pretty fun, awesome weather, lots of birds, no flight delays or major headaches.  My parents' house on Cape Cod attracts quite a few birds, so although it is tempting to skip right ahead to the Snowy Owl my brother and I saw on Plum Island, I will begin with the yard birds...

I only saw one Blue Jay while I was there.

There are lots of Downy Woodpeckers around, and unfortunately they have been working on the sides of my parents' house...

Tufted Titmice are always nice to see...

On Sunday morning there was a small flock of sparrows in their shrubs and I followed them down the yard until they disappeared.  The White-throated Sparrows stood out:

There was a sparrow I didn't immediately recognize but I am pretty sure is a Swamp Sparrow:

Full foggy body shot:

Cardinals are also nice to see... Randomly these two chose to pose on the same root for me:

Carolina Wrens do not like standing stil…

Gull ID torture, part two.

Well, I figured I did such a nice job butchering my gull ID's yesterday, that I would post some more gulls I photographed at Westmoreland Park.

Ok, so this bird I thought looked good for a Glaucous-winged but it has a light eye which just confuses me...  Glaucous-winged X Herring?  Something else entirely?

Now is this next one a Herring Gull?

And what the heck is this:

Glaucous-winged X Western?

Ok that's all I have the energy for right now.  No more gulls for awhile.

Weekend Birds.

Most of my birding this weekend revolved around the need to walk the dogs.  Sometimes that fact is annoying, but sometimes it works out nicely.  Yesterday I walked them along the Frenchman's Bart Trail in Vancouver hoping for some raptors or at least cranes.  The best bird is what I'm calling a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk because that's what I felt it was in the flesh (feathers?).

Also in Vancouver on the road towards the lake were two dead beavers and a dead raccoon, all very near each other.

Sorry, guess that's kind of gross.  Anyway, this morning was freezing cold so for some reason I decided it would be really fun to walk the dogs at Broughton Beach.  I lost feeling in all my fingers and toes quickly, but it was totally worth it for this guy:

Hell yeah, a Short-eared Owl!  This is why I was glad the dogs were with me.  I had been walking on the trail down the embankment from the bike path when I saw a woman approaching with a boisterous yellow lab off leash.  Yell…