The Last of the Ruddies

Some incredible moments shared with the last Ruddy Turnstones I saw down at Forest Beach.


They were just being Ruddies; up on one of the jetties in between foraging runs up and down along the shoreline.

Enjoying the sun, enjoying each other.


And as our autumn foliage and lighting transitions with each passing day into a more wintry palette, how I am missing their calico COLORS already.

But most of all…

Their glorious company.


See you in the Spring!  ❤

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.  😉

New Bird – Spotted Sandpiper at Ridgevale Beach, Chatham

I have been meaning to share another one of my “new bird” discoveries!

The other evening, while busy photographing a Willet standing in the creek at Ridgevale beach…


Out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn I saw a flash of white zoom under the bridge where I was standing.

I couldn’t see him at first, so I went back to my Willet, who seemed more than willing for his Kodak moment.

Just then I heard the sound of water, as if something was splashing in the shallows directly under me, and when I leaned over the rail to look out! flew this tiny bird fly that quickly landed on the muddy bank beyond.


Now if you’re anything like me, you just know when you are seeing something different; a bird you’ve never seen before.


This tiny thing was adorable, with yellow feet and orangey-yellow bill, lots of white on the chest and underbelly and a mix of brown feathers throughout; about the size of a Sanderling.

But the funniest thing about him was the way he teetered, bobbing his tiny tail up and down, up and down, up and down, like it would never stop.

And you could tell, he was hungry!


Yet like so many of the little shorebirds that I meet, he most politely allowed me a few moments for several more photos.


The pics came out a bit on the bright side, but fine, good enough to identify and share.

My favorite was the one of him at the water’s edge with his beautiful image reflected in the watery mirror before him.


A big thank you to What’s This Bird for their help with the identification of this Spotted Sandpiper  (probably a juvie with the yellow legs and no breast spots).

A most memorable “first” indeed!  😉

Arriving Soon, the Semipalmated Plovers!

Last year was my first introduction to plovers.

First the Black-Bellieds.

And then this charmer, the Semipalmated Plover who’s due to arrive anytime now and stay thru’ October.


Did I say, charmer, or what??  😉  ❤

Monday Best: Snow in Summer

Welcome to Monday Best!

Presenting my pick this week, the Snowy Egrets of Mill Landing!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding24-BlogI saw the large flock of Snowies feeding the other morning down at the Mill. It felt like the first time when I discovered them many years ago. They stole my heart then and here I was captivated by them all over again!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding48-BlogKnown for being vocal, I could hear them even before I spotted them, talking amongst themselves in the shallow channel water as the morning sun backlit their every elegant move. It’s like watching the Nutcracker ballet in the middle of summer!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding39-BlogI must have been photographing at least twenty individuals, each one casting its stunning reflection on the shallow water as they slowly moved forward, sideways, and back again. It was so beautiful that I had all I could do just to hold the camera steady!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding44-BlogAnd it looked like I wasn’t alone in my bird watching!

ForestBeachLoop882-BlogSnowies have a most unique fishing method which seems to fit their personalities to a T. They literally flush out tiny fish below the water’s surface, using their yellow feet to chase them up, up, up and then – gulp! Oh, to be an underwater camera to see those fancy feet so gracefully at work…

SnowyEgret-MillLanding35-BlogSnowyEgret-MillLanding22-BlogSnowies love to hang out in big family groups, and seem to get along quite well.

With the occasional dust up over mates and territory, that is… 😉

SnowyEgret-MillLanding30-BlogI continued to snap picture after picture of these elegant beauties, the water twinkling like diamonds all around them as they fished. I had forgotten all about the heat as these magical snowy creatures transported me to a place in my mind that was cool and calm…

SnowyEgret-MillLanding40-BlogSnowyEgret-MillLanding28-BlogAnd talk about hairdo’s! The Snowies have the hair award, wings down!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding47-BlogThe feathery plumes on their necks and back, called aigrettes, were once used for decorating ladies’ fancy hats. I, as a milliner, am proud to say that I never use any bird feathers in my designs. The feathers that allow these and other birds to soar and fish so magnificently look far better on them than they ever could on my hats!  🙂  (You can read more about this in my blog, For the Birds)

SnowyEgret-MillLanding33-BlogI hated to leave them that morning but it was time to head back to my own “real” job and leave them to theirs ’til next time we’d meet.

Which I am sure, will be soon.  😉

SnowyEgret-MillLanding42-BlogThanks for visiting me here and enjoying these magnificent snowy dancers with me!

Sally

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Sunday Best and a Few Adieus

Hi everybody, it’s time once again for Sunday Best!

We had a lot of worthy candidates this week as some of our favorite summertime guests on the Cape were getting ready to leave us for the winter.

Contestant #1, the Willett, , savoring one final dip among the shells. We’ll miss this wonderful shorebird with such a distinctive call that can be heard all across the marsh!

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Contestant #2, a duo of Great Egrets, seen from awaaay across Mill Landing as the sun was setting. These statuesque shorebirds were also making preparations for their departures this week, taking the time to pop into their favorite diner for one last nibble.

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Contestant #3,  one of our charming year-rounders, the gray squirrel. And you know? No matter how many times I pass by this very tree, this charming fellow always seems to be there, nuts in hand!  😉  Blog-ForestBeachLoop637

Contestant #4,  I never can resist birds on a wire, and the swallows are some of my very favorite small birds. I call them our “dolphins of the sky”, and we’ve seen them flying in large swarms over the beaches, heading for home!

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And finally, Contestant #5, another one of our year-rounders, the colorful flicker whose distinctive call makes you feel like you’re in some tropical paradise!

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And there you have it. Please cast your vote for your favorite, and as always – please share your comments too!  🙂

‘Til next time, thanks for visiting me here at Images of Cape Cod!

Sally