Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday in Fairhaven

So yesterday I posted the Purple Sandpipers from Fairhaven which, for me, were exciting since I've never been able to get really good photos before. But we did have a simply wonderful day stopping in lots of different spots in Fairhaven and having good looks at some typical birds on a beautiful very late fall day. We started on Shaw Road combing over the flocks of geese (more than 550) looking for a Cackling or White-fronted. We got good looks as they dropped in out of the sky...but no luck. We did have a flock of shorebirds take off first thing in the morning and later in the day we stopped back and had a nice flock of Dunlin and 5 Black-bellied Plovers mixing in with the geese. We're assuming they were the same birds since the flock size was similar. The field also contained several pipits and Horned Lark until a Merlin came along and buzzed the group.
One of the birds I always count on in this area is Carolina Wren. Even on the coldest of January days, when this bird starts singing you feel like spring isn't really all that far off.
Robins were everywhere......
And there was a small group of Swamp Sparrows working the marsh out at the end of Dogwood Road on West Island. We searched this area, in vain, for Snowy Owl.
There was a good group of birds working a thicket on Grandview Avenue (off Sconticut Neck Rd.) and several Carolina Wren and Cardinals kept flashing through the bushes. Unfortunately I was shooting this bird when Mark caught sight of a Yellow-breasted Chat and we worked to get the bird back out...but to no avail. There were tons of White-throats (none of which I could photograph!) and some Golden-crowned Kinglets working the same thicket.
And several Mockingbirds as well.
At the end of the causeway going out to West Island is a landing -- Hoppy's Landing -- which always provides great comparisons of the common gulls. Mainly because it is used as a clam dump or something. And, boy, are you lucky that my camera doesn't shoot in smell-a-vision!
At the beach at West Island (which was very quiet) I got this nice comparison of Ring-billed and Herring Gull.
On the way home we stopped at the Swansea Town Beach (at Ocean Grove) to see what ducks might have put in already. There were large numbers of Brant (more than 500) and there were also two hunters right off the everyone was a little nervous.
A few rifle shots in the air, and the Brant took off....
obviously feeling safer (which I'm not sure why) heading off to the broader open waters of Buzzard's Bay.
So we ended a great day birding, much like it began....with lots of geese in the sky.



  1. These photos are amazing.....what incredible beauty. It reminds me that I need to continue to look around much out there that I could miss. MKE

  2. MKE - I'm so glad you checked out my blog; I've tried to keep it broad enough for hard-core birders and nature-lovers alike!

  3. Love the bird report...we spend alot of time in MA in the spring, summer and fall..we used to live near boston for many years before hitting the road full time in a motorhome. I love to see what birdies people are seeing there this time of year. Thanks for the informative blog. I didnt see a followers link on your blog..but i am going to add u to my blogroll...good stuff.