Friday, April 8, 2011

Birding Cape Cod

I spent Thursday, March 7 birding quit my good friend Doug. We were finally able to get together to enjoy a day of birding. We started out at Race Point Beach in the Cape Cod National Seashore located in Provincetown Massachusetts. There was a large number of northern gannets flying by plus scooters, eiders and red-breasted mergansers. There was even a humpback whale visible.
Northern Gannett

From Race Point Beach we went to Herring Cove Beach where there were the usual gulls- Herring, ring bill, and great black backed. Seaward there were the same birds present.
flight of see ducks

ring-billed gull

Next we went down to the Beech Forest Trail, where we had a great look at a fox sparrow right at the entrance to the trail. The chickadees and titmouse's kept following us looking for a handout, in fact, when Doug stuck out his hand to point at a bird a chickadee landed on his finger. This is because many people come to the Beech Forest Trail and feed the birds from their hands. Is this a good idea on not you will have to answer for yourself but it does make the birds less afraid.

Black-capped chickadee feeding out of the hand

downy woodpecker

tufted titmouse

fox sparrow

When we completed the Beech Forest Trail, it was getting onto lunch time so we traveled down to the parking lot at McMillan pier in Provincetown. Beside the usual gulls and rock pigeons that are present around the pier, in the water of the harbor were eiders, red-breasted mergansers and long-tailed ducks. Finally I was able to obtain photographs of a male long-tailed duck. The only problem was while I was photographing the long-tailed ducks, Doug identified a rarity, a King Eider, and I missed out in photographing it because it took off and headed out. However, I did also identify it.

Long-tailed duck mail

pair of long-tailed ducks

female red-breasted merganser

After lunch of delicious lobster rolls we traveled down to the Wellfleet Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary, we bird it mainly around Goose Pond. The interesting finding in the pond was four red-breasted mergansers. Usually these birds are found in salt water but this group was swimming up and down the pond. On the trail there was an eastern chipmunk stuffing its face.
eastern chipmunk with its mouth pouches full

Goose Pond

read-breasted mergansers in a row

So finished another enjoyable day. I am now starting to pack for my trip to Florida to visit with a good friend of mine, who was my roommate on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs.