Starting chemo this week so this blog may be a little quiet for that time.
I left for the Cape on friday with my dad. (See december’s post of a similar trip). We planned a couple stops along the way, two on-cape and one out of state. The out of state location was in Ashaway, Rhode Island for two Trumpeter Swans that had been reported. We didn’t get the swans and I didn’t realize until after that, with the report being 4 days ago, and the swans probably just passing through, that they’d be long gone by now.
We continued the drive and crossed over onto the cape in good time. Our next location, right near the bridge was the railroad bridge where a female King Eider spent the last winter. The large eider flock (eiders are a symbol and an unforgettable part of the cape) was swimming right next to shore. I picked her out quickly with my binoculars and was able to digiscope a few shots. Here they are, as always click on the photo for larger views :
We stopped at Dutchman’s Ditch on the way home and enjoyed great looks at a beautiful male Eurasian Wigeon. The waterfowl variety was fantastic at this location and we enjoyed such birds as Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser and Bufflehead, among others. I attempted to digiscope this very far out bird and with a little cropping managed this crummy shot where the bird is visible.
The next day, we woke early and shot up to Race Point in P’town for the reported adult Ivory Gull. After walking about 3/4 of a mile or so down the beach we saw a photographer pointing to a bright white spot on the water. There it was, my SECOND Ivory of the winter! (See my post of the last Ivory in Cape May) It then flew onto the beach, and allowed people to get within 6 feet. Classic Ivory behavior! It was a great bird and would’ve provided some great shots but with only one arm in use right now I couldn’t take tons of gallery stills like I did last time. However, I did manage three pretty good shots before my old digiscoping camera’s autofocus died! Here are the two shots:
Well, I guess I should’ve been happy with what I got, considering the circumstances. All I know is, when my arm is up to taking photos with my bigger camera again, I’m going after any and every Ivory in range!
After the gull we stopped at P’town Harbor for alcids. After scanning all over the harbor with no luck, we moved onto. Our next stop, Chequessett Neck Dike, for the Barrow’s Goldeneye was unsuccessful, after an hour of searching. We regrouped, heading for the reported female Painted Bunting in Orleans. She flew onto the feeder after ten minutes of waiting. Although she wasn’t a male, she was totally green. Never seen an all-green bird before. After she flew off we waited around for her to come back and after 40 minutes of no-show, we moved on. As on any Cape trip in the winter I went to Nauset Beach to visit my favorite flock of Harlequin Ducks. With my recent miss of the first yr male in CT, I was excited because I knew I’d see these. And I did. I minute into my scan they were in my scope and again provided good scope views showing off their gorgeous colors. Along with the Harlequins I saw Northern Gannets, all three scoters, a close-to-shore Red-throated Loon and Oldsquaw. I managed one far-out shot before the autofocus died for good.
The day ended with a trip to one of my favorite places, the bird watcher’s general store.
Another successful Cape Cod trip!