Friday, October 9, 2009

Plum Nice Birding

Friday, October 9, 2009
Today I got a chance to go birding at a world famous spot in Massachusetts: Plum Island. This is the general name referring to the coastal habitats that include Parker River NWR and Joppa Flats, where Massachusetts Audubon has a wonderful new visitors center. My companions on this adventure were several folks from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, led by editor Lisa White.

After visiting the Joppa Flats center, we stopped at an ocean overlook where we got great side-by-side looks at red-throated and common loons. I was sorry I forgot my digiscoping rig.

Scanning the ocean for gannets, scoters, loons.

Plum Island is a migrant and vagrant trap north of Boston. It gets great birds both because of its great habitat and because so many bird watchers cover the dunes, woods, flats, and marshes so thoroughly.
At this spot we had a mess of sparrows, including song, swamp, white-throated, chipping, and Savannah. We missed the salt-march sharp-tailed sparrow, though. Other feathered highlights: hundreds of yellow-rumpeds, a big female merlin, bald eagle, northern harrier, Cooper's hawk, all three scoters, many northern gannets, and about four billion double-crested cormorants.

That's Taryn, Katrina, Lisa, BT3, Theresa, Tim and Kevin (in front).

It was only a little cold and windy. Still we persevered to a total of 60 species, including a notable uncommon yellow-billed cuckoo.


On October 10, 2009 at 9:57 AM eileeninmd said...

It does look like a great for for birding.

On October 11, 2009 at 10:05 AM kevbosnafu said...

Memorable day birding, that's for sure! Great time...hope the Big Sit is proving productive for your group.

On October 12, 2009 at 1:22 AM cindyzlogic said...

Sounds like an AWESOME birding day!! Hooray for Plum Island, I'd say!