Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cape Cod - Part 2 (Bass Hole and Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, June 20, 2017)

Bass Hole boardwalk
Osprey nest at Bass Hole
Beach at Monomoy NWR
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Laughing Gull Leucocephalus atricilla
'Orange-tailed' Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
Willet Tringa semipalmata
American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus
Common Tern Sterna hirundo (Buoys and gu...never mind...)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
Fish Crow Corvus ossifragus
  While on the road, a dart was thrown at a map, and it hit Bass Hole (Bass Hole!), so that ended up being the first birding stop on June 20. A pair of nesting Ospreys, an American Oystercatcher, and several noisy Willets were viewed from a long boardwalk. Being the eternal scopeless wonder, a raft of terns and gulls on a far-off sandbar remained uninvestigated and blobby. I regret nothiiiiiing!
  On an interesting note, I saw a Cedar Waxwing there with an orange tip to its tail, as opposed to the expected yellow. Apparently this happens in the northeastern US as a result of the birds eating an introduced species of honeysuckle berries. Neat-o.
  By the time we got to Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (just south of Chatam, in Cape Cod’s southeastern armpit), the fog and wind had fully socked the place in, visibility was low, and most birds were keeping their heads down.

  Notable observations included a pair of Eastern Kingbirds on the dunes, several Willets probing for benthic organisms in the fog, four Common Terns dive-bombing for fish (no Roseates, boo-hoo), two Snowy Egrets, a nice close flyby from an American Oystercatcher, and good views, finally, of a vocalizing Fish Crow. Nuh-uh! Nuh-uh!
  At the sandy cliffs on the beach, a Northern Rough-winged Swallow got caught out by stiff winds, and it was incredible to watch its repeated aborted landing attempts and circle-rounds in the vicious gusts before a successful landing in its nest hole.
  Bass Hole!

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