Showing posts from September, 2015

Recent birds.

The weather has been so much better since I returned from Boston so birding has been a lot more appealing.  Let's dive right in. 

Last week I went to watch the Vaux's Swifts at the Chapman School do their thing; roughly 4500 went down the chimney that night according to Andy Frank. 

With Cooper's Hawk on the chimney

A quick stop at Broughton Beach would have been completely lame without this lone Sanderling eating a dead fish.

I took the mutts out to Sauvie Island one day to walk out to the Narrows where birding was decent, but the photo ops not so much.  The mutts tried to make up for it.

The sunflower fields by the Reeder Road viewpoint thing are looking rad.

Yard birding has been picking up again.  I bought a thistle feeder and put fine sunflower chips in it instead of thistle and the goldfinches go nuts over it.  Seriously. 

So now when the House Sparrows that moved into my camellia clog up the tray feeder the finches still have somewhere to feed.  Elsewhere in the yard…

The rest of Massachusetts.

While on Cape Cod my dad and I hit up a number of beaches and other random spots, per usual.

Sandy Neck

Weather ranged from hot and humid to cool with thunderstorms to outright downpours.  Birding was on the slow side but it gave me time to stare at birds like Great Black-backed Gulls, which I never get to hang out with.

Sea Gull Beach, Yarmouth

Shorebirds were not easily tracked down though I found a few way out on the West Dennis Beach jetty.

Semipalmated Sandpiper & Plovers

Ocean Avenue Beach is a neat little spot where I was reminded that Laughing Gulls exist.

I rarely get to see Herring Gulls in breeding plumage, let alone with youngsters begging...

We checked out the Harwich Community Gardens one morning, a pretty and peaceful spot with lots of birds including my only Baltimore Orchard Orioles of the trip.

Gray Catbird

It was a good spot for grasshoppers like this one that I have yet to identify [update:  it's a green-striped grasshopper nymph]:

We stopped at a bird carving…

Cape Cod: Wellfleet Bay & Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuaries

Last week while visiting my parents on Cape Cod, my dad took me birding at a couple of Mass Audubon sites.  At Wellfleet Bay the first fun creature was a red squirrel, New England's version of our Douglas squirrel.  We had seen some in Maine but I never got a photo...

They are ridiculously cute.  We came across a second one at the end of our walk making an amazing amount of noise.

The Silver Spring trail proved lovely and squirrel-friendly but lacked the birds I had been craving.

We continued on to the Goose Pond Trail, with Goose Pond being a big highlight.  When we first walked up a couple of Great Egrets were in such a pose that I thought I was looking at a statue.  It was several seconds before they moved.

After realizing they were in fact real birds, I started to notice the edges of the pond were littered with shorebirds.  This spot turned out to be the best shorebird spot I found while on Cape Cod.

Great Egret and Greater Yellowlegs

Snowy Egret

Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs