Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Semipalmated Plovers and Sanderlings in Sandwich

Whew- that's a lot of s's in that title.

These are some pictures I've been sitting on since my trip to my aunt's beach in Sandwich, MA back in August. It was the same day I got the video of the herring gull eating the dead fish.


Group of sanderlings and semipalmated plovers:

Semipalmated plover:
I've been doing some birding here in Bridgewater, but haven't had too much luck yet in terms of lifers or rare birds. It's probably a combination of the lack of time now that I've adopted a commute and also poor planning on my part in terms of time of day.

Steve and I ventured into Hockomock Swamp on Sunday and 99% of the birds I saw were chickadees, except for a gray/yellow warbler that I spotted right before getting back into the car. I watched it with my binoculars, but by the time I got my camera out it was gone. It had a gray hood and yellow stomach. Those were the most distinguishable characteristics and unfortunately there are several warblers that fit that description. Connecticut Warbler perhaps?

I did have the opportunity to join the Brookline Birding Club for a trip to Cumberland Farms in Middleboro. Thanks to Christopher at Picus Blog for the invite. They were birding for sparrows that day, which is a bit too advanced for me (they all looked the same!), but it was a good learning experience nonetheless.

Another birding update- I joined
Project Feederwatch for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
It's my first time doing it and I'm really excited since I haven't been able to have a bird feeder until now. I'm a marketing analyst so I enjoy gathering and working with data and can appreciate the detailed instructions they gave to ensure the data they collect is as scientific as possible. I'm still trying to decide what my count days will be. Has anyone done it in the past? Any tips?


Larry said...

Juvenile Common Yellowthroats kind of take on that yellow belly warbler look too.-I love it when shorebirds let you get decent photos.It's not always about lifers.-Shorebirds give you a good opportunity to become a more proficient birder because of all their plumage varations.

Birdinggirl said...

Thanks for the tip Larry. I'm sure someday I'll be able to identify on-the-fly, but right now I find it so heard to remember all the little details by the time I get to my book.

Thanks too for the advice about shorebirds! I like getting down to the beach whenever I'm home on the Cape and it's nice that I can watch for them year-round.