Sunday, February 13, 2011

Along the New England Coast

Last weekend I drove up to Gloucester to look for gulls and other assorted seabirds along the coast.  Gloucester is a beautiful fishing village with great restaurants and an incredible access to great bird sites.  Unfortunately it was really windy and cold so birding was a bit difficult.  Seems like we're having a run on red breasted mergansers.  They are everywhere and today was no different.  There were many poking around the rocks. 

Red-breasted Merganser (female)

I visited Jodgrey State Fishing peer.  Its a great place to see gulls, and other sea ducks.  I got a really good viewing in my scope of an adult Glaucous and Iceland gull.  Unfortunately, they were to far for a good photo.  I need to look into digiscoping.  I was also fortunate to see a black billed murre and a black guillimot, but they were really to far away for a good photo shot.

Black-billed Murre

I went down to the beach to search for wading birds and found a flock of sanderlings, but the real prize was a Harp Seal. It was sitting in the snow getting a sun tan. It should have thought about a manicure too.  Take a look at those nails.  

It was unfortunate that people let their dogs approach the seal. I love dogs, but people really need to be more responsible.

Harp Seal

This weekend I took a quick trip to Tiverton, Rhode Island to visit a few open pastures along the water front.  I have a few birds that are on my target list so I was on the hunt.  I was photographing and there were 5 hunters in the opposite field.  I thought hunting season was over.  I heard a few shots and their dogs were yipping so I think they got something. 

Back to my adventure....seems like everyone has been seeing my target species all over New England, but I've been coming up short.  However, as soon as I approached the fields a flock of 25 birds jumped up with a characteristic white flash.  Yup I finally got a Snow bunting.  Yes I know alot of you see them all the time, but this is only the second time for me and the first photo.  Yippee!!

 Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

There were raptors all over the fields.  I saw Rough legged, Red-tailed and a Sharpie, but the only one close enough for a photo was Cooper's Hawk. 

Cooper's Hawk
chasing a rather large flock of Starlings. 

6 comments:

Nature Goddess said...

Fantastic shot of the infamous Snow Bunting! They are a tricky flock but,you did it!!!!! Nice shot! You discovered some wonderful territory yesterday...wait until spring comes around! Nice going, Tucker!

Nature Goddess said...

I forgot to mention... ... ...I adore the photo of the Harp Seal. I will be showing the children in my class this photo in the morning. Excellent!

Hilke Breder said...

Congrats on the Snow Bunting! You got a great shot. Despite the wind and the cold sounds like you had a good trip up the coast with some interesting sightings.

Jen said...

That's a nice variety of birds! I've only seen a Snow Bunting once so I definitely understand the excitement... you got a great shot of him too! The seal is adorable...

Andy said...

Seapowet?

John (Tucker) said...

Andy, Seapowet Wildlife Management Area is located on Seapowet Avenue in Tiverton. The birds were on the backside of the field to the left of the bridge

http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/daytrip/tiverton.html