Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shorebirds and Sea Ducks

My first local birding on Saturday since my trip to Minnesota.  I had a good time with my sister Jane of the Backyard Explorer.   First stop was at Sachuest Point NWR.  I usually have great luck there for sea ducks, but it was the short-eared owls that had been reported all week that I was most excited about.  Unfortunately I arrived about 10 minutes late.  I met a nice gent in the parking lot and he said that I had just missed three buzzing around.   There were tons of common eider, bufflehead and harlequins. A few horned grebes, common goldeneye, scoters and common loons scattered here and there.  No great photos though.  The snow was too deep along the rocky shore so I didn't dare walk on the rocks. 

We left Sachuest for Third Beach.  Jane immediately lost interest in birding cause she found some shell thing.  She called it a tiddly wink or a smeddleebop...who knows.  She left the beach with pockets full before remembering she had a bag so after filling her pockets, she filled a bag too.  I hope her enthusiasm for all things nature never changes. 

Meanwhile I wandered down the beach to check out a small flock of sanderlings.  I also found dunlins and purple sandpipers skulking around the rocks.  Farther off shore there were brants, and a surf scoter or two.  I parked my butt on a snow bank for some close-up photos.


Ruddy Turnstone

We moved on from Third Beach to Fort Getty in Jamestown and I got a fairly decent shot of a white-winged scoter.  A photograph lifer for me.  I've never had one that close to shore 

White-winged Scoter

We left Jamestown and stopped at her house to look for a Yellow-bellied sap sucker that had been poking at the trees, but unfortunately no go.  I did get a nice shot of an Eastern Towhee.

Eastern Towhee (or whatever they are calling it this week)

We moved on to Trustum Pond and Charlestown Breachway, but with no good opportunities for birding photography.  The beach was amazing though.  Waves were huge and the current in the breachway was something else.  A quiet day for the birds.  Not alot of action, but some good photos nonetheless. 
Still looking for the snow bunting, redpoll, hoary redpoll, and a pine siskin. 


forestal said...

wonderful photos Tucker. Looks like a super trip.
(the Ruddy turnstone has purple sandpiper under it so you are aware)


Nature Goddess said...

Great photos Tucker! It was such a fun day! The shells in which I became obsessed with are called, Jingle Shells. I haven't seen that many since we were kids combing the beaches in Brewster. Glad I had that bag in my car. Just thought you might like to know that The Jingle Shell is a bivalve that attaches itself to other hard surfaces. I love collecting these shells in gorgeous tones of yellow to orange. I hit the jackpot on this trip. Wow!

Kelly said...

...loved that little Ruddy Turnstone...and the Great Grey Owl in the previous post is awesome!

John's Island said...

Just found your blog. Very nice photos. Birding is one of my interests and I will be back often. Thanks for sharing.