It feels good to be able to not be concerned about chilly temperatures and ice on the ground... it's always a hesitant grace period in April here on the Cape though. We still have our snow shovels right outside both the front and back door at home. Habit. We were out on the trails to check the habits of the locals and potential migrants though, and see and hear them...we DID! I thoroughly enjoy pointing out the intriguing song of the Song Sparrow, and for Tuesday Tweet new-comers, it's a treat to share. If only I could sing as they do! I'm a nerd, but I'm not a bird... oh well. We were welcomed on the trail by such a Song Sparrow, who seemed oh so comfortable singing along as we approached the marsh.
We noticed that the Osprey's nest had grown a bit and I noted that I'd seen them on the nest with fish the day before, arranging sticks this way and that... hoping for a better year than last. (If you're unfamiliar, last year's juvenile osprey chicks/eggs did NOT make it. The nest was raided - AWFUL!) Folks often ask me if the same pair returns to this nest each year. We really have no way of knowing. These Osprey are not tracked or banded and so... maybe, is my best guess. I once asked Sue Finnegan (Master Bird Bander) if she banded the Osprey. She is only permitted and trained for song birds, in fact she fashions her own bands for hummingbirds! Banding raptors is an ENTIRELY different ball game. I'm crazy enough to do it maybe someday... who knows?! My main concern would be the stress upon the birds themselves though. I'm foolishly fearless enough to work with pretty much any species of animal (save arachnids...not my fave). New future hobby, perhaps?
When we arrived on the sands of Cape Cod Bay, we had some excellent views of Brants...as they are still here. The field guides who were also along the trails training new field guides had mentioned they'd seen Tree Swallows had returned and indeed... they had. We were able to catch some sweet Tree Swallow views as we headed back toward the museum and they perched on the nest boxes standing in the meadow. What an unusual sound they have and their plumage... SO beautiful! The feathers on the top of their bodies are a brilliant aquamarine when the sunshine hits them just so. It feels warm on the inside when we start spotting the spring time migrants...
C'mon summer! We're anxious for you! (double click photos to enlarge)
Great Black-backed Gull
|Bird Nerds on Tuesday Tweets|
|One of Sue Finnegan's (Cape Cod Bird Bander) mist nets, wrapped up|
|Incredible view... never get tired of it|
|Brant flying over our heads on the beach|
|Spotting Brown-headed Cowbird in the tree along the trail|
|Brown-headed Cowbird - male|
|Tree Swallow on nest box in the meadow|
|Tree Swallow pair perched on top of nest box|
|SO GOOD to see Osprey back in force on the Cape!|
Hope this is a better summer for this nest!
|Sometimes photography in motion ends up looking more like a painting due to the blur...|
I just love Brants.
*Note* The price of Tuesday Tweets will be changing in May: ($4Members/$6Non-members)