Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our AWESOME birding trip to the North Shore

Lily birding Safari-style, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
Another day, another dozen birds to check off a brand-new life list (and stamps to add to the MassAudubon Passport to Nature). We headed north to Plum Island. Goal: ducks and sandpipers.
Mostly American Wigeons, Salt Pannes, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
Close to perfect fall duck day. We got gadwalls, wigeons, scaup, pintails, shovelers,
Northern Shoveler female, Salt Pannes, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
ruddy ducks, eiders, green-winged teal, and even a redhead (!) barely viewed through a kindly offered scope.
Yellowlegs, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
Sandpiper activity was also amazing. We parked at lot 7 and walked out to the beach.
This is when every interest Lily had in birds disappeared.
Black-bellied plovers and a sanderling, Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
Look Lily! Black-bellied plovers, sanderlings, dunlins! Oh wow, is that a red knot?
There's at least one red knot in there, I'm sure of it.
Lily nodded but didn't even hold up her binoculars. She would get to count the species but she didn't have to care. There was a whole beach to play on! (Meanwhile,  immense sandpiper clouds were blowing up the coast).
Rockery Pond, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield, MA
A quick stop at Joppa Flats for a stamp and a gift store purchase and we were off to Ipswich River. This to finish our weekend trifecta of direct bird contact:
Lily in a now familiar pose, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield, MA
Hand-feeding the chickadees! And titmice and nuthatches.
Very friendly white-breasted nuthatch, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield, MA
I'm not sure how we are going to top this weekend. Our MassAudubon stamp count is up to six. Only four more and we get a prize! Where should we go next?

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