Friday, October 2, 2009

Plum Island Blues

Big an' li'l yellow-legs

Even a poor day at Plum Island is an interesting one.

An encounter with the bane of hellcat--THE MIDDLE SCHOOL FIELD TRIP--set the tone for the day. Two buses of bored, chatty, and mostly unsupervised preteens. I could hear the wall of noise as it moved down the trail. I tried to outrun it, but it caught up to me at the old blind. "Anything out there?" they ask.
"There's a hawk called a northern harrier," I reply.
See below (highlight of the day).

"Write that down," they told each other. (They had been sent out on the trail with a lined piece of paper to write down any bird they could see.)
This was apparently the first one some of them had "seen." On the whole trail.
To be honest, I hadn't done much better. White-throated sparrows (here comes winter) and yellow-rumped warblers were the only birds of interest.

I cut my losses and headed for the parking lot.

Oh don't give up, says the chickadee peeking out of a tree hole.

There are plenty of other quiet places you can try.

I headed down to the pines trail, a spot where I've never had much luck before. I immediately heard towhees, lots of them, scratching in the leaves and hopping across the trail.

My first decent towhee photo ever.

And do my ears deceive me or could those be golden-crowned kinglets? Sure enough. Still got ear skills.

OK. That was good.

But this group of black-bellied plovers pretty much sums up the day's "action."

Just hanging by the waves...

Hey, what are those guys doing, just sitting there?

Let's go see.

Now we're both standing.

The end.

With a bonus season-end look at semi-palms, peeps n plovers.

And the necessary great egret shot.


Mattenylou said...

Wonderful photos! Your birds are completely different from the ones we see in Western Mass. I so enjoy your blog!

Peter Oehlkers said...

Thanks. I envy the summer long warblers you have in the hills out west.