Tuesday, June 5, 2018

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

The first time I heard "bird walk" was after I moved to Cape Cod about 17 years ago.  At first I thought it was a rather silly compound word, but soon after, the concept intrigued me.  I've been leading bird walks now for nearly 8 years in many regional locations and I feel ever so lucky to be able to share these habitats.  I don't head out on a bird walk wishing to see a certain amount of species in a certain amount of time.  There is always a suspicious element of surprise, and that's certainly one of the reasons I continue to walk the same trail again and again.  It's always different.  On this morning, I don't think any of us were expecting to see/hear 34 different species of bird... but that's what happened. 

It was tricky keeping up, writing the names down, while discussing bird nerdy things and trying to catch some images.  The first two weeks of June is when phone calls and bird photos start pouring in from friends, family and other bird nerds.  It is an exciting time for nature lovers!  There is new life in every direction you give yourself time to take notice.  I hope you get some time to do so as your own self reward.  Some of the photos are blurry, again because I simply didn't have time to focus... particularly of the Green Heron - our finale bird on this Tuesday Tweets.  I was on the salt marsh planks and so were several groups of school children visiting for a field trip.  I didn't want to be in their way.

For so many of the children, it was their first nature walk.  I couldn't help but notice, two young boys, trailing as the caboose, at the end of the last group.  They were wearing hats.  They were quiet.  They had their own binoculars they'd clearly planned to bring with them on this sunny Tuesday morning field trip.  They knew this was a place and time for viewing birds.  I like to believe they will remember the morning for years to come.  I got to point out that Green Heron to those two boys.  That was a gift for me. (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List: 
American Crow
Northern Cardinal
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-winged Blackbird
Osprey
European Starling
Common Grackle
Barn Swallow
Tree Swallow
American Goldfinch
Song Sparrow
Common Yellowthroat
Gray Catbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Eastern Towhee
Yellow Warbler
Cedar Waxwing
Prairie Warbler
Eastern Bluebird
Tree Swallow
Red-tailed Hawk
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Willet
Hairy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
White-breasted Nuthatch
Mourning Dove
Ring-billed Gull
Tufted Titmouse
Laughing Gull
Carolina Wren
Green Heron (!!!)
Great-crested Flycatcher


Osprey on the nest - GREAT this nest this year!

White-tailed Deer!!!



Song Sparrow

Osprey pair - one on the right is feeding an osprey chick (that you can't see)

Visit ospreycam


Common Yellowthroat

Gray Catbird

Eastern Bluebird - male

Eastern Bluebird - male (that darn branch...)

Eastern Bluebird - male

Cedar Waxwing (really a profile only due to the angle... wish you could see the plumage...)

Cedar Waxwing - was just hanging out over us for a little while.  AMAZING.


Cedar Waxwings
Cedar Waxwings PHOTO CREDIT: Ron

Red-tailed Hawk PHOTO CREDIT: RON

Eastern Bluebird - male


We had MANY an Eastern Bluebird sighting!  What a treat!

Cedar Waxwing

Sometimes a silhouette is all you get.  I believe this is an American Goldfinch... but he was distant.

Tree Swallows on the wing

Praire Warbler

A blurry backside of a Yellow Warbler

Red-tailed Hawk - juvenile.  I'm guessing female,
She was BIG!

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Cedar Waxwing

Osprey silhouette, hunting over Quivett Creek


Crow tracks in the sand

Tiny tracks... sandpiper?

One of CCMNH's fabulous Field Guides doing her thing on the mudflat!
"HOLY FISH!"
Willet



Gulls on the mudflat





Happy Bird Nerds!
Lots of Lady Slippers!

Green Heron!!!

Green Heron - notice the shape of the wings when flying...

Green Heron, showcasing her/his wingspan (I know... blurry)
Happy Birding!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


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

If you ever ask Nature for a favor, sometimes she does reward you for asking nicely!  It was two years ago, the third week of May when I remember learning a new bird call on Tuesday Tweets - the Prairie Warbler.  The best way I can describe the sound with words (not my favorite way to share learning a call) is that it is an upwards spiral sound.  One of the bird nerds had a much fancier way of putting it.  She said it sounds like the "sound of grass growing" if that had a sound.  Love it.  Thanks Fran, I think that's perfect!
So I was hopeful.  

We had a few glimpses of Barn Swallows along the marsh and as we continued along the trail, there were multiple calls and songs, though not always with a perfect viewing of each particular bird.  A Common Yellowthroat definitely made his presence known, but was awfully sneaky hiding in the thicket as we passed.  It didn't seem to matter how patient we were, he was being camera/binocular shy.  Oh well...

The bonus area on this day was the meadow!  I had heard the Prairie Warbler several times along our walk, but it was a distant call along the way, and if you're not familiar with the sound, it pretty much blends into the avian symphony of a Cape Cod morning this time of year.  Fortunately, we seemed to be surrounded by several warblers and there was even a few minutes of a yellow battle!  Breeding season is high time for arguing and challenging over territory, and we were able to witness very up close and personal, an American Goldfinch, a Yellow Warbler and a Prairie Warbler having an Oak Tree discussion.  It definitely did not seem to be a friendly communication they were passing among themselves, but man did we get a show!   Even better, at least from my point of view... every bird nerd who joined in on this Tuesday Tweets, now KNOWS the Prairie Warbler call!  What a unique spring morning gift!  Thanks Nature! (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
Black-capped Chickadee
Gray Catbird
Northern Cardinal
Song Sparrow
Osprey
Common Grackle
European Starling
American Crow
House Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Yellow Warbler
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Yellowthroat
American Black Duck
Blue Jay
Barn Swallow
Tree Swallow
Herring Gull
Eastern Bluebird
Prairie Warbler
Eastern Towhee
American Goldfinch
Mourning Dove
Willet
American Robin
Great Black-backed Gull

Osprey

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Bird Nerds on the saltmarsh

Song Sparrow
Blueberries in bloom

Blue Jay



Eastern Bluebird - male


Eastern Bluebird - male 

Yellow Warbler - male

Yellow Warbler - male

Eastern Bluebird - male

Yellow Warbler - male

Praire Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Great Black-backed Gull


Osprey

Silhouette of an Eastern Towhee - male

It is FUN learning bird calls & songs!


Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler - I know it's not a great photo,
but I just love seeing those beautiful tiny wings take flight.

American Robin

Barn Swallow

Next opportunity for Tuesday Tweets - Brewster: 6.5.18 at 9am  4Members/$6Non-members
Happy Birding!