I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, April 9, 2011

birds of spring

Hi! Is that a hint of spring we are seeing?

It's chilly here---at the beach the air tends to remain as cold as the ocean, about 43-45 degrees right now. But my boardwalk has been repaired  and replaced. It has to be in position before the shorebirds return.

One windy day recently I stopped again at the saltmarsh bird sanctuary. The ospreys have returned...

They arrived promptly on March 29th. Click here for a very interesting website that chronicles the ospreys migration to and from South America each year.

As did the other two pairs whose widely spaced nesting areas are scattered through the barrier beach marshes here.

My good binoculars-camera (Bushnells) have gone to be repaired. And the cheapies from CVS seems to kill the batteries as soon as I insert them. So these photos with my regular camera aren't wonderful...For really great osprey pix, check out this Cape Codder website

You can see that the marsh is barren.

Winter winds and storm tides have cut away the tall grasses. And no hint of green. But the birds must be finding small fish and insects? The egrets are back too. These huge, statley birds also migrate to and from South America, a long flight along the east coast, over the open Caribbean and on down as far as Panama!

This egret was doing a solo dance display, strutting about, his head and neck undulating like a cobra hearing the snake charmer's flute.

And I have brants in my yard. They are small geese, just passing through. They will nest in the high Arctic tundra above Alaska! Too shy for pix.

On the open beach the second set of piping plovers has arrived, more close to schedule, around April 3rd. They nest towards the eastern boundary of my private beach.

Do you see him? Center right, behind the driftwood? Below is a zoomed version...

And the little guy who was making trial nests, on the western edge, has acquired a mate.
When I was a little girl in the Midwest, we'd put out string and yarn for the songbirds' nest building about now. No sign of that here at the beach, too bad. I wonder why they don't like it here? Too windy, too   difficult? Even my pair of mockingbirds that I fed dried cranberries all winter have moved on.

Do you like to watch the birds in your yard? Any nesters yet?

Flea market tomorrow, yay!

Have a great weekend.



gone to the beach.....