birds not woodworking

I recently spent a great day with our friend Marie Pelletier up in Newbury, Massachusetts at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, aka Plum Island. She got great shots of many of the birds we saw… maybe this will take you to her shots – 

It was not the best light for me, my camera shoots kinda dark. But here’s some of what I got that day:
Egrets were the bird of the day; both snowy (Egretta thula) and great (Ardea alba)  – here’s one of the great egrets:


a bunch of the snowies:

great again

snowies again

They weren’t the only long-legged waders around though – we saw Great Blue Herons now and then (Ardea herodias)

A juvenile Northern Harrier – (Circus cyaneus )

The swallows were really the most impressive sight. Their numbers were out of this world. They’re “staging” – stopping here to feed and gather in huge flocks for migration. Many (most/all?) of these are tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) – there’s no way this photo or any photo captures the impact of seeing this many birds. they were in constant motion, and the sound of them hitting the water to feed on insects was LOUD. 

Here they are streaming through a gap in some trees, just an amazing sight. 

I never skip a chance to watch cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) this one was very cooperative

A couple of days later, at Pret & Paula’s house, an eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). Too distant for my camera, but such a treat to see it poking out of this dead tree:

Then this morning, the flock of common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) with some other blackbirds mixed in, come streaming up from the marsh just around sunrise:


7 thoughts on “birds not woodworking

  1. I love the shot of the cloud of swallows going through the trees. We’re just a couple of weeks away from the big migration of Vaux’s swifts here. They overnight in a big boiler chimney at a school near us and they’re an amazing sight when they’re circling at dusk. Last year the flock peaked at around 24,000. And I think cedar waxwings are incredibly lovely birds. They’re always a treat to watch. Thanks so much for sharing these pictures!

  2. Birds are truly amazing. As a veterinarian I never cease to amaze at their anatomy and physiology – the sheer magnificence of the whole package.

    That close up photo of the swallows is so dynamic.

    I can’t believe you got so up close and personal with so many different species. That’s what I call having a good time!

  3. As I carve spoons on my back step it see Little Wattlebirds tend their chicks in our tree-fern, Magpies come down to pick worms from the lawn and Satin Bowerbirds thump about in the trees, all while Rainbow Lorikeets shriek overhead. Funny how woodwork and ornithology go together. Thanks Peter and please thank Marie too for her beautiful photography. Cheers, Brad.

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