Shellfishing Prohibited at Mill Landing

I caught this guy red-handed down at the Mill the other day.


Boy, he sure looked guilty as all get-out, clutching a big juicy fish with his left talon.


Yet he insisted…


As he flew away, with feathers ruffled, that he was only “fishing”…

Not “shellfishing”!


And you know, he was right!!   😉

Advertisements

Labor Day Eve at Forest Beach

It was Labor Day Eve and I wanted to get to the point at Forest Beach before the crowds.

Passing by the far osprey nest I heard a lone chick, still being fed at the nest, crying mournfully for his favorite sushi.


And along the shoreh I discovered new shells scattered on the grainy, sunlit sand; treasures that the sea had washed up overnight.


I heard the voices of two fishermen preparing their lines for what looked to be a full day of fishing.


While an eager Skipper called urgently for the launching of his own vessel; clearly not pleased with the delay.


Just then I noticed a fisherman of a different shape and size, diving and surfacing, diving and surfacing.

And though I knew that his business was all about finding fish, he seemed as curious about me as I was about him!  😉


Further up the beach, sandy-bottomed canoes and kayaks, dragged into the dunes, now awaited their turn at sea…


While chairs set up along the channel; awaited the sunbathers who’d staked out their favorite spots the day before.


Several early swimmers were already taking an early morning dip; their squeals piercing the quiet as they realized that the water was colder than they’d expected.


I arrived at the point at last and sighed a long, deep sigh, Labor Day was finally HERE.

I pulled the quiet stillness tight around me; an old, familiar blanket whose comfort I had been missing for a long, long time.


Out on the flats, flocks of Laughing Gulls, Black-backed Gulls and terns preened and chattered as new arrivals landed every minute.


Two Black-backeds were causing a real ruckus about something or other (as gulls so often do)…


When all at once up popped the cutest tiny Song Sparrow onto the jettie in front of me, whispering, Now what’s all the fuss about?


I got a few shots of the rosehips along the edge of the marsh; ripe and ready for someone with a great jam recipe.


I’d have stayed there all day, yet I knew that the crowds would be moving in.

Heading back along the beach I noticed that my fisherman friend was busy at his fishing still, whiskers to the sea breeze…


And that the Tern families had finished their preenings and were heading for the shoreline and some fishing of their own.


Peeking over the dunes I spotted a large flock of Great Egrets and Snowies, fishing in the tidal creeks.

Our salt marsh ballerinas, and more than usual this year which has pleased me.


Just before the final jettie I met several young Black Ducks, busily jabbed their bills into the frothy waves in search of their own Labor Day breakfast.


Yet as always with Black Ducks who are never too busy to be polite, they wished me the nicest, Good morning! and I did the same.


I simply could not have imagined a better way to welcome the end of summer, out among friends sharing the beauty of the sea.

Happy Labor Day, one and all!

Osprey Magic

There is nothing halfway about Ospreys.


Their intensity, their bonds, their passion… inspire me.

Working on the photo album for this season, so many more amazing images to come soon!  😉

Red-Tailed Magic from Above

I had the nicest surprise yesterday morning.

And all I needed to do, was look UP!


Driving through Harwich Port, I spotted two Red-Tailed Hawks perched way up high on the church steeple.

I’d seen Red-Tails there at Pilgrim Congregational Church earlier in the summer, so it’s a habit to always check the spot when I drive through Port.


And today was the day I got treated to them once again.

The sun was warm; its early morning rays providing the perfect backlighting for the pair.


I could see their feathers, some individually, blowing gently in the sea breeze; so soft, so elegant.


And as I walked around the church, if I hadn’t known better I’d have thought the two of them were not even aware of my presence.


But I do know better.

Red-Taileds see everything.

While one of them was busy scanning the environment, looking this way…


And then that.


The other was as intensely occupied with some preening.


And I don’t mean just a little preening…


I mean, a whole lot of preening!   😉


But make no mistake about it, even when Red-Taileds are grooming or eating or hunting, they still notice everything.


When I see them gazing around their world, I know they are watchful; waiting for something to move, something that might even be tasty.


My, I sure was glad to see the two of them again, to know that they are both alive and well.


And as I turned to look upward one more time at the pair…


I said a “Thank you!” to them both.

For because of them, my Labor Day celebrations had already begun!!  😉

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”

Growing Up, Least Tern

One of THE most fascinating things about watching birds during the breeding season… is to see the coloring and feathering of the chicks as they become more and more like their parents.


Like with our new crop of Least Tern chicks…


Watching the feathers slowly morph from “baby” to “adult” has been fascinating, an artist’s dream in color and texture.


And there’s a palpable electricity in the air, as the adults and chicks soar through the air together…


With lessons being learned about just how you dip and dive for your own dinner now!  😉


Sometimes I think even the chicks themselves sense that something new and momentous is happening in their lives, too.


Myohmy, these tern chicklets sure are growing up FAST!!