Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cape Cod Canal, Sandwich Visitors Center and Scuesset Beach

Another interesting place to visit to observe birds and to photograph them is the Cape Cod Bay end of the Cape Cod Canal.  Both sides of the canal offer opportunities for these endeavors.  On both sides.  There are jetties that you can walk out on, I find the jetty on the Sandwich side much easier to walk on.  Both sides of easy to get to.  Although you do have to drive over the Sagamore Bridge to get from one to the other.
The day of my last visit, there was a snow shower the night before and the ground was covered with snow.  The first picture that I obtained was a close-up of a phragmites seed head with snow on it.  I  utilized my 500 mm f/4 lens to do the macro.Phragmite Seed Head in Snow
As we slowly walked down toward the jetty, we observed common loons, red breasted mergansers, herring gulls,common eiders and other birds.
Flying there was a herring gull which had food in its mouth being harassed by a first-year juvenile herring gull.  The long and the shot of the story is that the adult bird opened its mouth and drop the food into the canal, so neither bird got to eat it.Herring Gulls
Down in the water off the beach, there were a number of Atlantic Brandt swimming and flying around a Great Blue Heron.- ROT_5616 February 09, 2012 NIKON D3S
Great Blue Heron
- GBH flightROT_5627 February 09, 2012 NIKON D3S
I was able to capture some sequences of bird action.  The first was a red-necked merganser taking off from the canal and the second was a common loon diving for food.  I combined the pictures into inaction-sequence panorama, utilizing the technique that George Lepp described in Outdoor Photography and is available online at
Common Loon Dive Sequence
Red-breasted Merganser Take-off Sequence
There were a number of Brants feeding in a area of snow covered grass.- Brant feeding in snow ROT_5685 February 09, 2012 NIKON D3S

Crossing over to discuss the Scusset Beach State Reservation   Area, we observed mostly the same birds that we had seen on the opposite side of the canal.  There was a lone sanderling feeding on the beach. Sanderling Normally you find sanderlings in in groups.  The sanderlings was very cooperative and walked back and forth by me as I knelt in the snowy sands to get a low profile of the bird.
The wind had picked up and this song sparrow, I captured with its feathers blowing in the wind. - Song Sparrow feather blowing in windROT_5732 February 09, 2012 NIKON D3S A ringed-build gull decided to make the handicap parking sign its resting place.  - Ring-billed on HP sign ROT_5740 February 09, 2012 NIKON D3S
There also was a good number of American Crows around the area.American Crow
I do recommend a visit to the Cape Cod Bay end of the Cape Cod Canal for your enjoyment.  Directions and information are available at