Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Life Birds of Cape Cod....

I have so much to tell/show you!!  I could make this post really wordy, but, for the most part, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

On April 11th, Mike (my husband) and I headed toward Boston, MA for the 117th Boston Marathon!  Mike had qualified for the 116th Marathon, but when he tried to register, it was full.  He was able to get in the Marathon this year.  God protected us in a huge way by keeping us out of the bombing and the mayhem that followed.  Mike finished in 3:30.33 and as you know, the bombs went off at 4:09.  At that time, we were safely away from the downtown core, on our way to our car via subway. We got on the subway to head to the car at 2:25...had we been delayed by a mere 25 minutes, we would have stuck in downtown Boston. We didn`t even know about the bombings until we were halfway back to the resort on Cape Cod, when our family started calling our cell phones.  There are so many small details in the planning of this vacation and our plan for the day of the marathon that I am still amazed when I think about it...and get goose bumps thinking about what may have been.  I am forever grateful for God`s hand of protection over us!

Because we made reservations on Cape Cod, we got to enjoy an incredibly beautiful, relaxing week.  We spent a lot of time walking beaches and scanning for birds.  Because my husband isn`t a birder, I was content to wear my binoculars almost everywhere we went hoping to see some new birds.  He was much more patient than I would have been if I were in his shoes :)  Here are some of the birds I (we) saw:

The first life bird I saw was a Great Black-backed Gull (April 13th at Swan Pond)....we accidentally trespassed on private property (it looked like the end of the road had a path to this "pond").  The man was really nice :)
Very, very large bird!

Why it is called "black-backed".

Different locale...Provincetown, MA.  

Looks like disco dancing, but really just taking off :)
The next life bird I saw a Common Eider (April 13th, Parker's River).  This duck was just swimming down the river...unfortunately, the pictures aren't as clear as I would like because I failed to adjust the settings.
Interesting looking duck, wouldn't you say?

We walked along Nantucket Sound from Parker's River Beach to Smuggler's Beach and saw the following:

About 10-15 Brant swimming in the surf along the shore, feeding in the water.  This is my best shot of any of them.
A little way off shore, we noticed several Red-breasted Merganser...we ended up seeing them all over the place!
Red-breasted Merganser (taken in Provincetown, MA)

Feeding...I thought this was interesting.
When we got to Smuggler's Beach, I was absolutely ecstatic to see this next bird....
Northern Gannet!!!!

Diving Northern Gannet

We ended up seeing a lot of these...I have so many pictures from this trip, it will take multiple posts ;)

On April 16th, we went to West Dennis Beach.  I had read in "Birding Cape Cod" that West Dennis Beach was a great birding spot...again, because Mike isn't a birder, we didn't necessarily go to bird, but it was nice to go for a nice walk :)  West Dennis Beach has a parking lot that is between the beach/Nantucket Sound and a large salt marsh.  I would have loved to spend hours here!  Here are the life birds I found here:
A sign just off the beach...
 I read the sign and scanned the grasses, hoping to find one of these birds nesting, but it was fruitless...and I didn't want to take too much time..Mike was being really patient.  Then I heard this bird....
Piping Plover!
and quickly grabbed my camera.  This is highly, highly cropped.  It quickly landed in the grass area, well beyond my eye sight.  I compared the sound I heard to the audio clip on the Audubon app on my phone...thrilled!

In the salt marsh, I saw a Great Egret and an Egret that looked a little bit was quite a way off, but when it flushed, I caught a confirming picture....Snowy Egret!
Check out those yellow feet!
At some point during the day, we went to the super market to pick up some food for a couple of days and found this bird in the parking lot...
Laughing Gull
On April 17th, we went on a whale-watching cruise off Provincetown.  I saw these life-birds on that trip...

Common Murre
Well, these are the birds I was able to ID quickly...I have lots of other pictures that may hide a hidden gem :)  I also have a lot of other pictures of non-life birds that I will share soon...


  1. Wow! Thank God, you're safe and sound!
    What a wonderful collection of birds you managed to see. Several of them would be lifers for me, too.

  2. God was good to you! And He still would have been if tragedy had struck you too! Right? :) But sure glad you are both safe.
    Glad to see you back on the blog again... I had been worried you'd disappeared for good! :) Sounds like you had a great trip. Awesome pictures of the Eider. You've gone miles ahead of me on your life list! Looking forward to more posts from you again!

  3. Hi Tiffany! Haven't heard any new posts in a while and since I don't have your email address, I thought I'd leave a comment hear to see if all is well? :) Not that you're obligated to keep posting, but thought I'd say hi!