Tuesday, September 11, 2018

9.11.18 Tuesday Tweets - Green Briar Trail - Green Briar Nature Center
East Sandwich, MA

When we head out on our hike at Green Briar Nature Center, we are essentially greeted by a slew of species at the trail head, thanks to our bird feeder.  This morning was no exception as there were five separate species offering a nice peek at their behavior while they enjoyed a sunflower seed snack.  The weather was a bit iffy as we began, but once we were surrounded by the trees and the green, the sun came out and we had a warm walk through the woods.  As we cornered around the bend in the trail while entering the Beech Tree area, suddenly we could hear another set of species, though the dense Beech leaf foliage made for difficult sightings.  I was able to hear a Belted Kingfisher as s/he flew over the Smiling Pool... but we couldn't see her/him in the distance.

We saw more bird activity as we approached the loop end of Discovery Hill Road, where a small group of American Robins were enjoying berries for lunch, and the Gray Catbirds flew back and forth over the road.  It is always a grand finale to tip toe through the Wildflower Garden at the end of Tuesday Tweets.  Janice and an enthusiastic bunch of knowledgeable gardeners care for this picturesque spot.  It seems it blooms in every color for most of the year.  Do not miss your own walk through when you visit the property.  They also offer a book club: Wildflower Garden Book Club.  What a perfect location for inspiration!

No sight of the swans this Tuesday Tweets, but we were able to fit a hike in despite the screwy weather.  It is always a good idea to get outside and Green Briar Nature Center is an ideal place to do so for folks of all ages, with all sorts of programs.  Join us sometime! (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
White-breasted Nuthatch
Tufted Titmouse
Northern Cardinal
Blue Jay
House Sparrow
Common Yellowthroat
Gray Catbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Eastern Towhee
Belted Kingfisher
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
Tree Swallow






A massive fallen Beech Tree

I don't know why I love these old stone walls so much

Pendulous nest, Oriole? Vireo?



American Robin

American Robin
Next opportunity for Tuesday Tweets9.18.18 at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster: $4Members/$6Non-members

Happy Birding!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

9.8.18  Thornton Burgess Adult Nature Club - Green Briar Trail - Green Briar Nature Center Sandwich MA
Cape Cod Canal - Sandwich, MA

The Thornton Burgess Adult Nature Club is the brain child of Elise Leduc, local naturalist and environmental educator.  We gathered at Green Briar Nature Center for the first half of our time together to hike the Green Briar Trail that begins behind the Education Building and winds around the Smiling Pool, eventually connecting with Discovery Hill Road.  The woods were a bit quiet that morning, with overcast skies and a nice breeze.  As usual, the birdfeeder was where a lot of action was, with about 6 species of bird, offering a good morning welcome to our group.  

While I focused on the birds, Elise focused on the plant life.  The Green Briar Trail is very VERY green and we had sights and smells to guide our way.  We learned about Jewel Weed, which at the right time, produces seed pods that basically explode when touched.  We also got to try the tiny edible seeds that taste like walnuts.  A natural little surprise snack!  We were able to catch a quick glimpse of the Mute Swan pair who live on the property before we headed to the Cape Cod Canal.

When we arrived at the canal, it was clearly high tide and the ocean water was running like a river.  It was SO fast and impossible not to take notice.  The breeze was now a wind and the birds were here, there and everywhere.  As we got closer to the water, I noticed a fin moving in a circular motion.  "What the heck?!"  Turns out it was an Ocean Sunfish, according to Elise.  The fin was easily identifiable by the circular motion it kept going in.  I wish we had an aerial view of this gigantic fish!  I did get some photos... see below.  There were plenty of gulls to talk about gull ID and we saw juvenile terns when we arrived at the beach near the east end of the canal by the jetty.  The cormorants provided quite a show on and in the water.  They are truly amazing to me.  We even had a brief, but very close up view of a Turkey Vulture pair.  

The morning was an interesting combination of different habitats and the birds and plants found in and around them.  Click: Thornton Burgess Adult Nature Club for more information.  (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
Common Grackle
Northern Cardinal
House Sparrow
American Goldfinch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Gray Catbird
Eastern Towhee
Red-winged Blackbird
Tufted Titmouse
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
Mourning Dove
Common Yellowthroat
Tree Swallow
Great Black-backed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Double-crested Cormorant
Turkey Vulture
Laughing Gull
Herring Gull
Tern (Common? Roseate?)
Sandpiper


Common Grackle

Common Grackle

Common Grackle

American Goldfinch - male

Northern Cardinal - female

Mourning Doves

Eastern Chipmunk

Nature Nerds - you gotta love it!


Lovely trail


Princess Pine on the forest floor

Coexisting

Fungus lesson

Turkey Tail Fungus on a fallen Beech Trunk

Black Locust

Nature Lovers! 


Old stone wall


Tiny branch on a Black Cherry, fighting for sun




Jewel Weed - which I now know thanks to Elise

Mr. & Mrs. Mute Swan on the Smiling Pool

A walk through the Wildflower Garden


Jewel weed seed pods


Overcast days are an opportunity to work on bird silhouettes

Wait a minute.... Who's fin is this?!

What is going on in the Cape Cod Canal?!

Elise assured us that this was...

...an Ocean Sunfish.  I have only seen them in videos
and at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in captivity

... now I can't say that anymore.  It was WAY cool!!!

Double-crested Cormorant

...coming in for a landing

Don't you wish you could?

Double-crested Cormorant coming up for air after a dive

The kite show going on at Scussett Beach 

Graceful landing on top of the water


Laughing Gull - juveniles

Laughing Gull - juvenile


Cormorants in the water and Gulls on the sand

A distant flock of Tree Swallows gathering across the canal

Add caption


Tern almost finished swallowing a fish

Tern, pretty sure it is a Common Tern


Ring-billed Gull


Nice size comparison among a Ring-billed Gull (top left)
what I believe is a Semipalmated Sandpiper (bottom left)
and an a very recognizable Great Black-backed Gull




Next opportunity with Thornton Burgess Adult Nature Club featuring Wild Food
Saturday October 6th - 9a-12p -$30
Happy Birding!