My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Day Three – The Meeting

Harbor Seal

I woke up extra early to visit Nauset Beach at Cape Cod because there had been talk that this would be the best location for finding some Harlequin Ducks. I ended up not taking the required turn and found myself at this very cool dead end road (and probably where I shouldn’t have been). Not only were their a zillion birds swimming around but on one of the rocks was a harbor seal. It was not too cooperative in letting me get a close photo but I did squeeze in a few pictures before it disappeared in the water. I really have to appreciate everyone who has the opportunity in seeing these guys on a daily basis.

Common Eider

I finally pulled out my spotting scope to whiteness hundreds of Common Eider fishing, swimming and having a good time together. Although, lighting wasn’t the best, I still managed to try and capture a few pictures. I kept hearing the sound that reminded me of Tundra Swans but no swans were on site. It wasn’t till later that I learned the Common Eider made a ghostly moan oh-OOOOooo sound (compared to kwoooo of the Tundra Swan) which was used by courting Eider males. This was such a wonderful opportunity to learn more about a new species that had only first seen the day before. Other birds hanging out with them included many gull species, Long-tailed Ducks, Buffleheads and Mallards.

Nauset Beach

I finally arrived to Nauset Beach and this was the most gorgeous beach I had seen the whole weekend. This place reminded me of the beaches that you would find on television or the movies. There weren’t any Harlequins here but did get another lifer bird!! LIFER BIRD – Black Scoter – CHECK!! There were numerous rafts of these Black Scoters in the rippling waters. I quickly identified them by their black bodies, white on the tip of their tail and orange/yellowish knob on their bill. I was so excited because I am up to 5 lifers now on this trip! Other birds swimming with the Black Scoters included Long-tailed Ducks, Horned Grebe and probably some other birdies that I am forgetting about.

Black Scoter

Although a little late, I did finally make it for the first presenter at the Eastern Bird Banding Association “84th Annual Meeting”. What a wonderful 12 paper presentations that were done on so many great bird banding studies that are going on. I never realized how many waterfowl & shorebird projects are being conducted in the Massachusetts area. We also got word that the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) has created a new website at for reporting all encountered banded birds. In the evening the BBL did a workshop on our new banding software that banders are required to use. I then had a wonderful dinner with my fellow banders and then learned about wintering raptors in the Great Basin.

It was snowing out (yes, snowing at Cape Cod) as we were leaving the conference. Very large flakes and what was wonderful to see in the lights in the sky from the three light-houses way out on the point. I found myself very worn out from a long/fun weekend but very glad to have participated in so many activities. I quickly fell asleep and started dreaming about more lifers (which I didn’t get). There is always opportunities for seeing many more great birds in the future.

6 responses

  1. Rick

    looked like you had a wonderful time tom. glad you had so many lifers.

    26 March 2007 at 9:20 pm

  2. Sounds like another great day – I’d love to see any Eider, and any non-Surf Scoter!

    26 March 2007 at 9:29 pm

  3. @ Rick – thanks and was wonderful
    @Adam – was great and now I have all three Scoter species!

    26 March 2007 at 10:00 pm

  4. Sounds like you *really* enjoyed yourself – no kidding, right? I know where you can get a whole long list of lifers!!! 😀

    30 March 2007 at 6:05 am

  5. Pam, thanks and I would get a VERY long list out there! Hope you are enjoying your trip!

    30 March 2007 at 8:51 am

  6. It must have been great to see so many different birds.

    30 March 2007 at 9:51 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s