Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bird Walk Allens Pond day prior to hurricane

Saturday, August 27, 2011 Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary scheduled a bird walk. What made this walk more interesting that it is occurring the day prior to the arrival of hurricane Irene.
I traveled down early to Westport Massachusetts to observe what was happening with the ocean around Gooseberry. The causeway to Gooseberry was closed to vehicle traffic, so I parked at the parking lot with numerous other cars and observed the increasing tide and waves coming in and pounding on the rocks.untitled Waves  hitting Rocks_MSB_9606 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S At the same time fog was starting to increase into the area.
I went to the sanctuary and prior to the walk took some scenic pictures to demonstrate how the area looked.untitled MSB_9615 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300Suntitled MSB_9617 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300Suntitled Scenic MSB_9623 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300Suntitled Scenic MSB_9627 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S
I also found a spider web cover with dew. untitled MSB_9608 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S
Group MSB_9884 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S
Finally put myself in a picture using the camera timer
Two other people and myself met our leader Lauren and we started out to bird the area at East Beach and observing over to Barney's Joy across the cut that is the inlet to Allens Pond.
Our first stop was at the culvert where we observed the Osprey sitting on the nest shrouded in fog. untitled Osprey on Nest fogMSB_9629 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300STraveling further down and stopping to look over the marsh and Allens Pond there was a large number of different species present. There was a flight of glossy Ibis that pass by and since I was using my binoculars I did not get a chance to photograph them. Of wading birds there were also great blue herons, snowy egrets and great egrets.untitled Great EgretMSB_9665 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S Double-crested Cormorants was swimming and standing in the water.untitled MSB_9631 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S  There were a number of terns fishing. At first, we thought they were all common terns, but on closer inspection a lot of the terns were foresters terns. untitled Forester's tern MSB_9644 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300SA very good find!
Reaching the end of East Beach a number of shorebirds was seen including whimbril's, Sanderlings, semi-palmated plover's which were feeding in the surf.untitled SanderlingMSB_9674 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300Suntitled Whimbrels on shore line MSB_9666 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S

At the very end of Barney's Joy, there was a large number of gulls and terns feeding in the rough water. untitled Gang feedingMSB_9706 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300SWith binoculars and scopes we started to inspect the terns that were present to see if we could find any rarities. Yes! We found black terns which are listed as a rarity for this area. TernMSB_9823 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300SA most excellent find.
Black and Forester's Terns MSB_9824 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S
Black and Forester's Terns
Further down on Barney's Joy there were four oystercatchers resting. also on Barney's Joy were a  black-bellied plover and greater yellowlegs feeding. untitled Black-belled Plover Greater YellowlegsMSB_9732 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300S
Observing at the rocks off of the beach, the waves were starting to crash over them. untitled MSB_9691 August 27, 2011 NIKON D300STomorrow, when the hurricane arrives it should be a very interesting scene however I will be at home safe rather than sorry.
For the entire trip we saw approximately 33 different species of birds. It was a very good morning of bird watching