Monday, January 26, 2009

dreaming back

This post from Birds on the Brain about her experience with piping plovers and American oystercatchers on South Beach in Chatham got me all nostalgic for freezing my ass off on Plum Island in April explaining to people that the beach is for the birds. I miss the invisi-birds in the winter when they're down there in Georgia and Texas and what all. Oh, I miss my invisi-birds sooo much...

Meanwhile, in yesterday's freezing cold and wind, I walked on the beach off of lot 7 for awhile. The only birds I saw were great black backs, herring gulls, and black ducks. The black ducks were kind of interesting because they kept surfing in and landing in groups and then joining a larger group resting on the beach. The ducks were huddled very closely together and really hunkered down. The group looked like a big rock from a distance, except the rock kept getting bigger. The gulls were very active in contrast. On the way back I saw two American tree sparrows by the side of the road in the S-curves, but that was about it. I think the wind was keeping everybody down.

I found a nice flock of Lapland longspurs at Salisbury Beach State Reservation. They were very active, taking flight as a group every 30 seconds or so. They'd forage, fly around in a circle, land not that far from where they left, and repeat.

I'd hoped do find some white-winged crossbills at Salisbury too, but they did not show themselves today. The last white-winged crossbill I saw there was in the process of being eaten by a peregrine (a couple years ago) and for some reason I haven't seen any since. Need cleansing live crossbill...

Anyway, it's still cold here. More snow is due mid-week. My local dark-eyed junco flock was sticking very close to my front porch this morning. Easy viewing from the living room. As I was leaving for work I heard a black capped chickadee doing the spring fe-be call instead of its winter dee-dee-dee call. Spring? Is there such a thing? When does it start?

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