It Be Wild Times at the South Harwich Osprey Nest


Stay tuned….   😉

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Snowy Magic at Red River Creek

It was a warm June morning and I was out early at Red River Creek.

In search of baby Black Ducks.

Passing by our familiar childhood herring run, something caught my eye.


Through the marsh reeds and trees I spotted a Snowy Egret, perched on a low branch close to the river.


I knew that Snowies roosted at night, but this was the first time I’d seen one just rolling out of its lofty bed among the treetops.

Best of all, the angle of the morning sun seemed to be in my favor, giving me a bit of time to watch undetected.


It got even better when the Snowy flew to a second perch, directly over the creek.

Oh yes, a much better spot to look for something moving in the shallow water below!


And the perfect chance for me to reposition, to get deeper into the shadows to observe.


Just then, the Snowy began to preen.


Such a methodical process it was; no doubt a morning ritual.

And through my lens I could see tiny white feathers, freshly pulled, being released from the Snowy’s bill….


Lifted by a whisper of a sea breeze…


And then floated away without a sound, out over the marsh and out of sight.


Another breeze came up and had some more fun, setting the Snowy’s crown feathers all aglow as he peered intently into the watery shadows of a nearby creek.


What a sight he was, this stunningly beautiful bird.

Doing what Snowies probably do every morning – taking a bath, getting ready for some breakfast.

Yet this morning, this Snowy gave me such a gift.

One I’ll never forget.


Years ago I made the decision as a milliner to design silk organza “feathers” to trim my hats with, in place of the real ones.

Leaving those soft, glorious feathers right where they belong.


On the breeze.

And with the birds.   ❤

Related post, Hats and Horses blog, “For the Birds”

Starstruck – Glossy Ibis Sighting in Chatham

I had my first sighting yesterday of a glorious new bird that has now utterly captured my imagination.

I was up on what I call “Osprey Hill” photographing fledgling ospreys as they practiced their aerial maneuvers near one of the nests.

Just as I was leaving the Hill I spotted a nice group of Snowies and Great Egrets out in the tidal pools below, fishing.

But there was something different about this group – a much darker wading bird was among them!


Later on I discovered that I had just seen my very first Glossy Ibis!

But it was about to get so much better.

I also came upon a lovely pair of them when I was heading back to my car at Forest Beach marsh.


Glossy Ibises are a large bird, measuring anywhere from 19-26 inches with distinctive football-shaped bodies and long, curved olive-brown bills.

Their scientific name, Plegadis falcinellus, is derived from the Ancient Green and Latin words meaning “sickle”, which is certainly easy to understand why!


And although they appear black in the distance or in shadows, their bodies are actually a deep chestnut color with iridescent green-purple-metallic wings and tail, reddish-brown neck, brown legs and feet.

These were backlit when I saw them, but I could see flashes of color as I clicked away madly on my camera.


Using their long curved bills which are perfectly suited to the task, they probe the muddy, shallow waters of salt marshes to find crayfish, snails, small fish, insects and frogs.


Those on Atlantic Coast live mainly in Florida and Louisiana, however I’ve learned that they sometimes breed here on Monomoy Island and are occasional visitors in spring and late summer in our mainland salt marshes as well.

I couldn’t help but notice that one of our resident crows was none too happy to pose with these statuesque dark birds.


How I do love our little rascal photo bombers, always mugging for the camera!  😉


I sure hope I get another chance to visit with these birds before they fly south for the winter months.

But one thing’s for certain.

There’s but one word to describe how I feel right now, and that is SWOON…


The Sparrow with the Arrow

I’ve been wondering lately, what IS it about me and the birds?

Every chance I get, I am out with them.

Following these amazing fellow creatures of wings and bills with so much beauty, so much heart.

Yet lately I’ve been questioning all the TIME I am putting into it – not to mention the memory cards.  😉

Then this morning, I came upon a tiny Song Sparrow in the road.


I was actually on the other side of him at first, with the arrow pointing towards me.

I walked past the sparrow, and he didn’t move.

He was just standing there. Looking at me, beside the arrow.

Except now the arrow was pointing the other way, and he was in front of it.


It was almost as if this little bird was trying to tell me something.

Follow me, follow me, come this way, THIS way.

And it was clear he wasn’t going to take “No” for an answer.   😉


So crazy or not, at least for now, it looks like I’ll be following the birds.

Photographing this little guy, and so many others.

For moments like these. ❤

Sunday Best – Great Egret Sunset

Another busy weekend, but I just had to share my pick this week for Sunday Best.

This Great Egret that suddenly appeared one evening at Mill Landing just as I was about to head for home.

ForestBeachLoop883-BlogA pair of dogs showed up just as he landed so I only had time to snap a couple of quick photos.

But I think you’ll agree…

This is a most deserving winner of a Sunday Best award!

ForestBeachLoop884-BlogForestBeachLoop885-BlogThank you for visiting me here at Images of Cape Cod!

Sally

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