Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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 smaller than the crows I'm used to seeing, with shorter legs.  And there was just something different about him.


For some reason this beach had quite a few dead birds on it, and the gulls were more than happy to eat them.  These next photos are gross.


I'm pretty sure this gull was yelling "Cannibal!"



Common Eiders are pretty common on the cape, but they are still relatively new and exciting for me.


There was a small group of gulls along one section of the beach with a Bonaparte's Gull...


And a Ring-billed Gull tongue which I found hilarious:


On the way home from Provincetown we stopped at Fort Hill.  I was hoping for any of the interesting birds seen recently there, but instead got great views of a billion people.  Not sure why, but it was packed.  Saw very few birds, but this Red-tailed Hawk was rather accommodating:


And an Eastern Bluebird on the way back to the parking area helped make the visit worthwhile...


Good times!  Still more to come...

8 comments:

  1. You're killing us! Where is this Snowy Owl???!!!

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  2. BTW - Very jealous of the Common Eiders over here.

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  3. Looks like a great day at the beach with your Dad. The gannets are very cool to watch as they dive. Great birds and photos, Jen! And congrats on your new sightings.

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  4. Looks like you had a beautiful day. The gannets are still on my wish lish so I'm a little jealous. Interesting photos on the bird's meal. Never really thought of gulls doing that.

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  5. Looks like a great time. I love your poke at Sibley. I can't wait to see the Snowy Owl!!???!?!!! I am way jealous.

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  6. WELL you sure got a great bunch of Gulls....they are scavengers for sure...LOVE the open mouth shot..too cute.ALSO the Stare of that hawk...very piercing.

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  7. Jen, I bet we were at Fort Hill around the same time. I took the same photo of the red-tail. I was there to photograph the Ash-throated flycatcher.

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  8. When I was on the East Coast and saw (and heard!) Fish Crows for the first time, a birder told me that if I wasn't sure what kind of crow it was to ask it if it is an American Crow. Fish Crows will deny this by their emphatic "uh-uh!"
    Anyway, if you hadn't noticed, I am reading your blog backwards! Loving it!

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