Saturday, February 19, 2011

Seabirds and More

I decided to join the Massachusetts Audubon North River Sanctuary regular Friday morning bird walk.  I don't typically attend these events as I'm really more interested in quality vs quantity.  I don't really keep track of the number of birds I see.  I'm more interested in watching birds in their element and have been known to hang out for a couple hours to the chagrin of anyone who birds with me.  Not to say I didn't enjoy myself.  The trip guides are excellent.  One of the guides has an ongoing record of 100 birds per month for 63 straight months.  Huge count!  When we started out I asked, John Gallazzo, one of the guides to find me a Common Redpoll.  He said, we shall see!

Our first stop was Duxbury beach.  With a full moon, the tides were due to be very high so we moved down the breakway to Gannett Point to look for a Nelson's Sparrow.  Apparently they are common in Nebraska, but are rarely seen here. The individual bird had been hanging out since November, but not seen over the last week or so.  On our way, we ran into a small flock of Common Redpolls...Yahoo!  Success right off the bat.  One of the challenges with birding with a group is that you really don't get enough time to photograph so this photo is really from later in the afternoon when I went back to find the Redpolls.  No luck with the Nelson's and the Atlantic was calm and quiet. 

Common Redpoll (Duxbury Beach, MA)

Common Redpoll (Duxbury Beach, MA)

Common Loon (beginning to show its true colors)

Following our trip to Duxbury Beach, we moved over to the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary.  Could not get real close, but we saw at least 5 red-tails, 6 rough legged (RL) and 6 norther harriers.  The male harrier is an amazingly beautiful bird.  I haven't photographed a male yet.  Stay tuned for that.  This picture, although of poor quality, definitely shows the dark stage of the RL.  The RL is slightly larger then the red-tail.  Both are large hawks though.  Seeing them both together was a good show. 

Rough Legged Hawk

Eastern Blue Bird

Rock Doves
(if they weren't pigeons they'd be a really beautiful bird)

I moved on to Plymouth Harbor to find a Lesser Black Backed Gull that apparently hangs around at Jenny Pond in Plymouth Center.  I had not luck with the lesser so I decided to do the waterfront. 

Iceland Gull (Plymouth boat ramp)

Iceland Gull

Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Ducks ( there were about 10 in this group). 


cindyzlogic said...

NICE captures, John! The Common Redpoll is such a pretty bird. Hooray for you for going back and getting these images!

forestal said...

fantastic shots Tucker. I have yet to see a redpoll. Love the loon shot too.


Jen said...

Wow great redpoll photos!! Good thing you went back later! I am also extremely jealous of your fantastic Icleand Gull shots... Sounds like you had a good time.

Andy said...

A good day indeed

Anonymous said...

Just love the lovey dovey doves!