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…   😉

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A House Finch Hello

One of the things I love most about autumn color on the Cape is….

The way it frames the beauty of our BIRDS!  😉


House Finch, Cockle Cove, Chatham

Nature and its Musical Pulse

Nature, and the music that is akin to it, are what sustain and inspire me in my life today.

As I listen this morning to Yo-Yo Ma’s recording of Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, I am realizing how perfectly this composition mirrors what I see and feel and experience every single time I am out with my camera.

As I photograph whatever is in front of me…


I am feeling awed…


Captivated…


And yes, even amused.


And it is different, every time.  ❤

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!!   😉

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!  😉