Friday, September 5, 2014

9.5.14 - Private Walk - Bayside Beach
Dennis, MA
 
Living on Cape Cod allows you to bask in the glory of September.  There are fewer places I treasure more than Cape Cod Bay, and having an opportunity to spend some time identifying shore birds (tricky stuff) that visit and/or live there... well, it's the definition of delightful for me.  One of the best ways to learn to ID shore birds is by habitat foraging choice.  Some prefer to dash about at the edge of the waves, while others prefer to be on the sandy beach, although today we saw several species wading in the mudflats on the sandbars, probing with their wild beaks.  We got SO close sometimes!  The next time you walk at low tide and carefully scan the rocky parts of the tidal flats.. .you will be AMAZED at how many birds you will see!  It's like a tiny natural gift, once you realize they are all around you waiting to be discovered.  Not to mention, their beautiful calls and songs will fill you with beach-y happiness.
 
Our List:
Semipalmated Plover
Herring Gull
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
American Crow
Ring-billed Gull
Ruddy Turnstone (!!!) - my first!
Sanderling
 

Sanderlings & Semipalmated Sandpipers

Semipalmated Sandpipers

Sanderling

Sanderling

Ruddy Turnstone & Herring Gull

Ruddy Turnstone

Sanderlings & Semipalmated Sandpiper

CAMOUFLAGE!
How many birds can you count in this photo?

Ruddy Turnstone
 
Herring Gull & Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling (top) & Semipalmated Sandpiper
 
Ruddy Turnstone
 
Happy Birding, on the shore, or wherever it is you are!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

8.26.14 - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History - Tuesday Tweets
John Wing Trail - Brewster, MA
 
Our enthusiastic group headed out on another sunny Tuesday morning... I had to share the photo of the tree with the bird-like silhouette below.  This branch formation has fooled me before...until I grab the binoculars!  It was rather quiet in the thickets surrounding the museum itself, but once we headed toward the marsh... we were in business.  It's rather evil I feel, how very pretty poison ivy begins to look at this time of year.  Hard to imagine certain birds are able to consume parts of the plant (Carolina Wren)  The yellow colored warbler that I had my sights on for about 3 seconds before she flew off,(that I missed a photo of) I do believe was a Yellow Warbler female.  We also managed to sneak a peak at a Nashville Warbler.  It was a walk FILLED with Gray Catbirds at every turn!
(double click photos to enlarge)
 
Our List:
Northern Cardinal
White-breasted Nuthatch
Northern Flicker
Gray Catbird
American Goldfinch
American Crow
Ring-billed Gull
Osprey
Yellow Warbler (female)
Coopers Hawk
European Starling
Nashville Warbler
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Kingbird
 
The branch that looks like a bird silhouette
Poison Ivy with berries 
Eastern Phoebe

Gray Catbird 
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe 
Nashville Warbler
Eastern Chipmunk
I couldn't resist sharing the photo that I got of this lil' lady chowing down when I was headed back to the museum.  I always feel like it's a bonus when we see mammals on a bird walk!
Next opportunity for Tuesday Tweets: 9.16.14 $2Members/$4Non-Members
Happy Birding!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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

If I could choose the weather, I would always choose the weather we've had on our Tuesday Tweets this summer.  With the tide in our favor, a nice sized bunch of us headed out on our bird walk...and after a brief sighting of a small flock of House Sparrows...we were treated to a young Red Fox hunting in the marsh.  Suddenly our walk transformed into Mammal Watch!  It didn't seem to bother any of the bird lovers this sunny morning!  Please see photos below... admittedly, there are too many of the fox, but we had so many gifts this fine morning.  It's difficult to choose any particular moment over another.  Nature will reward you, if you give it time and patience.  We had many a poser, so I was able to get a few good shots without holding up the crowd today.  Enjoy!
(double click photos below to enlarge)

Our List:
Northern Cardinal
Carolina Wren
House Sparrow
Osprey
RED FOX!!!
American Crow
Blue Jay
Tree Swallow
Green Heron
Song Sparrow
Barn Swallow
Mourning Dove
Eastern Kingbird
Gray Catbird
Black-capped Chickadee
American Goldfinch
Laughing Gull
Common Yellowthroat
Coopers Hawk

I do believe the single shorebird who flew over our heads was a Greater Yellowlegs...but s/he flew by so fast... I cannot confirm.

House Sparrows

House Sparrows

Red Fox (juvenile) hunting



Osprey

 
Osprey - SO CLOSE!!! 

Osprey ...preening

Mourning Dove
 
Grey Catbird

 
I had to put one more of the Red Fox because s/he was so much fun to watch...
what a gift on our bird walk!
 
Next opportunity for Tuesday Tweets, 8.26.14 at 9:30am $2Members/$4Non-members
Happy Birding 'til then!


Friday, August 15, 2014


8.15.14 - Birding 101 - KidSummer - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Lee Baldwin Trail - Brewster, MA

On our last morning together of Birding 101 I wanted to spend as much time as possible outside.  Two and a half hours zips by pretty quickly when you're looking for birds!  We went over the birdwatching tips we discussed on our first morning together, remembering how behavior is one of the very best ways to identify a specific species.  Off we went with bird behavior check lists on clip boards and our binoculars...
What a MORNING!  If you know any of these young ladies, be sure to ask for them to tell you the story of two Eastern Kingbirds who paid us a much closer visit than we ever could have planned or even possibly IMAGINED!  I look forward to hearing from these official Bird Nerds in the future as they add to their life lists... 
(double click on photos to enlarge)

Our List:
Gray Catbird
Eastern Kingbird
Northern Cardinal
American Crow
Song Sparrow
House Sparrows
American Goldfinch
Red-winged Blackbird
Mourning Dove
Cedar Waxwing (!!!)
Eastern Phoebe
Tree Swallow

Empty Great Horned Owl nest
                            Northern Cardinal (male) with a molting or mite issue ...
Recording bird behaviors on the trail

American Crow

Song Sparrow




Learning about Cedar Waxwings in the field guide - we saw one!

Eastern Phoebe

Look at the railing on the right for the Eastern Phoebe...
patiently and quietly, we approached...

Now the Phoebe's on the left railing...
 
Look how close we got!!!

Turkey Tail fungus
 
 
 
 
 Bird Nerd Salute!
 
Thank you to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History for supporting KidSummer's new course, Birding 101!  What a memorable summer and don't forget...
it's COOL to be a Bird Nerd!