The View from Cockle Cove – One Dog’s Perspective

We’ve had a few windy, cold days here on the Cape, and the view from Cockle Cove has been spectacular!


The sand was really blowing the other day at Cockle, just as the sun was setting…


Yet this one happy dog just didn’t seem to mind at all!


He ran this way…

And then that way; his eyes were gleaming and his tail never stopped wagging.


I just kept wondering, now what is making him so happy??

And then I noticed something moving, through the blowing sand, down along the shoreline.


And then – I saw TAILS!


Could it be?

Was it them??


Yesindeedy! It was the mighty Sanderlings, busy hunting for their dinner!


So that’s what had made this happy dog’s eyes shine!!

He’d come chase them a bit, and they’d fly up and land a little further down the shoreline.


Now like so many bird photographers I get frustrated when people let their dogs run wild on the beach when I’m trying to photograph the birds; scaring them up and yes, ruining many a magical Kodak moment.


Yet there was something about the sheer joy written all over this dog that reminded me of our dogs all through childhood who LOVED the beach, who went nuts whenever they got near enough to smell it.

Chasing after the birds is this dog’s nature, what living on Cape Cod is all about for him


And all I could do was smile…T

Thinking how the two of us really aren’t that much different, after all.  😉

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Goodnight, Chatham Light Beach – November 18, 2018

There was such a magical glow to everything last evening at Lighthouse beach in Chatham.

The sun had set and the water was at times, still as glass.


Ducks, gulls and Eiders fished just offshore…


Conversing with great gusto.


We came upon a solitary Sanderling…


Searching for bites to eat from the crab shells scattered along the shore.


And as I looked back at the lighthouse behind me, rising statuesque against the clouds…


The Constance Sea was comin’ home with her catch for the day.


Covered with a flock of gulls, eager for some sushi tidbits.


Just one of the daily rituals in a fishing village like Chatham.

 

A Beach Bum for the Birds

I stopped being a “beach bum” a long time ago.

But I’m back on the beaches again.

This time, to be with the birds!


I love the intense light and deep shadows of the early mornings here on the Cape.

There’s nothing that makes my heart dance quite like the sight of a tiny Sanderling…


Chasing the waves to and fro…


Then pausing to look at me, backlit by the morning sun.


I guess that makes me a “beach bum”, after all.  😉

Up and Running with the Mighty Sanderling

Up and running in the new day.

‘Tho’ I’ve met my match for sure in the mighty Sanderling when it comes to energy levels.


LOVE these plucky little sandpipers, scooting along the shore at Nauset Beach and beyond!

Gulls and Sanderlings – Opportunity and Abundance

When I got to Ridgevale Beach late this afternoon the clouds were AMAZING as I looked out from the channel bridge.


Down along the shore the clouds were even more breathtaking, and the water choppy as a stiff breeze and chill air reminded me that next time I need to wear more layers now that autumn is here in earnest!  😉


Just then I looked toward Cockle Cove Beach, and I noticed an animated bit of activity there among the gulls and sanderlings.


The sanderlings, one of my favorite shorebirds, were trotting along the shore, back and forth, back and forth, even more frenetically than usual.

Yet they weren’t following the waves, as is their usual pattern, but following the gulls, up and down the shoreline.


Yet as busy as they were, one or two of them would now and again turn to look at me; giving me that old familiar sanderling gaze that has endeared them to me ever since I first discovered them many years ago.


Meanwhile, all along the shore the gulls were in the air, scanning the churning chop for scallops, hovering for a time and then plunging down, down into the froth!


More often than not, UP they’d come with tiny scallops in their bills, and carry them to shore.

And of course they would then fight over them, as gulls always do.


It was then that I noticed something…

Each time they’d finish with their squabbling over whose scallop was whose, the gulls would finish their meal quickly and then fly off, screaming at one other, impatient to go find more food to fight over.

And that’s when the sanderlings would scurry in, scooping up the crumbs that were left behind.


So that’s why they were following the gulls around; waiting for their dinner to be brought to shore for them, courtesy of the hungry, noisy, greedy gulls.

And off they’d trot on tiny little legs, with their belly full of scallops!


Such smart little birds, these sanderlings, yesindeedy!

If it is even possible,  I think now I love them even more…   😉

My Mystery Shore Bird – July Sighting, Forest Beach

I came upon a small flock of shore birds the other morning.

As the group scootled in and out among the waves, I thought at first they might be Sanderlings, out looking for breakfast.

But as I got closer, it seemed that these birds were “browner”, and more scallop-feathered than the gray-black-white palette of the Sanderlings.


And if it’s possible, they moved even more quickly than Sanderlings, which is no small feat.

Rarely, did I ever capture more than one of them in focus.   😉


This one might look like it’s dozing, but after spending some time with these birds I began to wonder if they ever sit still, let alone sleep!  😉


I am thinking it could be the Red-necked Stints, or even perhaps the Little Stints.

If anyone out there thinks they might know what kind of bird this is, please leave me a comment with your ideas.

But whoever they are…


I am totally smitten…  ❤