Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Birding Field Trip
Despite the rainy forecast, a group of 10 birders -- eager to see some exciting birds -- met at 8 am at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation. As a reward for waking up early, the group saw partly cloudy skies and cool temperatures, perfect weather for the outdoors. The group’s first stop, at the end of Hummock Pond Road, yielded several Laughing Gulls out in the ocean, as well as American Goldfinches and a Common Grackle. The group then headed to Hummock Pond, where we had stunning views of a Common Yellowthroat. After piling back in the cars, the group visited a forest off Millbrook Road, where we saw several Chickadees, Red-winged Blackbirds, and a Pine Warbler. Holes in oak trees left over from Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers intrigued the group. At the final stop at the north end of Hummock Pond, the group enjoyed views of an Osprey and a chick in the nest, a female Mallard and its duckling in the pond, and Canada Geese and their chicks on the shoreline. The next bird walk meets again at 8 am, next Wednesday, July 6, at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation.
- Daniel Blatt
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Birding Field Trip
On this warm and sun-bathed Wednesday morning, an intrepid ten birders gathered at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation at 8 am. After introductions, the group piled into three vehicles and proceeded to Squam Farm, a mixture of forests, meadows, and wetlands. The group was greeted with views of a Northern Harrier and a Turkey Vulture, as well as a gorgeous male Eastern Towhee singing high in a tree. Other highlights included an Eastern Phoebe, Red-Winged Blackbirds, two Cedar Waxwings, a Baltimore Oriole, two Great Crested Flycatchers, and myriad Tree and Barn Swallows. We also heard a House Wren. The group then turned towards Quidnet beach where, immediately upon exiting the cars, several Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats landed in the nearby shrubbery. On the beach, three piping plovers entertained the entire group. It was a successful morning! The next walk meets at 8 am at LLNF on Wednesday June 29.
- Daniel Blatt
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015
Birding Field Trip-Clear skies, 60 degrees, lite NE wind, beautiful morning
The weekly birding field trip departed promptly at 8 A.M. with a moderate sized group of birders and sprits running high. The group proceeded west down Eel Point Road and ran into lots of common birds and a few migrants. Yellow-rumped Warblers, Pine Warblers, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Dark –eyed Juncos and white-throated and White-crowned Sparrows were among the migrants. Song Sparrows, American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Red-winged Blackbirds, Tree Swallows and several other species were either migrating or preparing to depart or possibly stay for the winter. Palm Warblers, an American Pipit and a Merlin were other birds well seen. All agreed It was a fine morning to be afield and a good trip.
Hummock Pond had 4 Pied-billed Grebes, 12 American Coot, 70 American Wigeon, 250 Canada Geese, 65 Greater Yellowlegs, 70 Dunlin and 14 Sanderlings. Four Great Blue Herons and a Great Egret were seen as well. The next field trip is on Wed. Nov. 11 departing promptly from 110 Eel Point Road at 8A.M. Plan on arriving 10 minutes early to complete paper work and meet other participants.
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015
Birding Field Trip Departing from 110 Eel Point Road promptly at 8 A.M.
An enthusiastic group headed out and immediately found a Western Kingbird. The bird posed for pictures on the wires and then would fly into a Winter Berry, Arrowwood Viburnum thicket and eat berries. This bird remained in the area for 5 days. A couple of American Golden Plovers at Hummock Pond and a couple of White-rumped Sandpipers were the other unabashed highlights.
Friday Sept. 4 and Sept 3
Brown Pelican Sightings on Nantucket
On the morning of Sept. 3 around 7:30 A.M. an adult Brown Pelican was seen sitting on the beach by a dog walker a quarter of a mile east of Miacomet Pond. She call Sarah Bois who went down and took a I.D. photo with her iPhone confirming it as an adult Brown Pelican. The bird was seen to take off several times and appeared in fine health. Later in the late afternoon a kayaker saw 2 Brown Pelicans in the water and flying about between Sankaty Light and the Beach Club to the north. He is an experienced observer but had no camera.
Then on the morning of Sept. 4 another/one of the same Brown Pelicans was seen in the company of surfers at Cisco Beach. Clearly there is something going on with Brown Pelicans heading northward as usually they only appear after the passage of powerful hurricanes. In fact this summer has seen an unprecedented number of southern pelagic species over a thousand miles north of their typical ranges including tropicbirds, Bridled Tern and Brown Boobies. There was a Brown Booby not 3 miles off the entrance to Hyannis Harbor just a few days ago and they are seen what can be termed more or less regularly off of Provincetown. What is going on indeed. It could be a very shocking fall after such a surprising summer for pelagic species.
Wednesday Sept. 2, 2015
Birding Field Trip at The Linda Loring Nature Foundation, 110 Eel Point Road departed promptly at 8 A. M.
A jaunty group from around all around the country showed up excited to get out and look for birds. The weather was hot and sunny like it had been but had come from the west and hopes of migrants being all around. While assembling the car pooling and signing up in the parking lot there were 4 Eastern Kingbirds on the wires on Eel Point Road right at the entrance and lots of American Robins, House Finches and Cedar Waxwings on the move. All the birds were heading west. A handful of Tree Swallows cam by flying high. This species has been noticeably absent from the island so far this fall.
A short trip west down Eel Point Road and our first stop for land birds revealed a stunning and very cooperative Prairie Warbler that allowed some excellent photo opportunities, 2 Pine Warblers, a Red-eyed Vireo, lots of Gray Catbirds and Cedar Waxwings overhead. A couple of Red-tailed Hawks and a young Northern Harrier drifted by.
Our next stop revealed a nice mix of land birds and a glimpse of a Merlin looking for a meal. At least 4 Carolina Wrens, 3 Red-eyed Vireos, 2 Warbling Vireos which while common during summer in much of the United States are always a scarce bird on Nantucket, even during the fall migration when many more birds appear than in the spring.
Next was the extreme west end of the island at Jackson Point where the birds were rather disappointing but the butterflies mad up for it. A Mourning Cloak put on a good show and several close fly-by Monarchs were welcomed as they have been nonexistent all summer. A flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds and a few American Robins were seen departing west for Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland.
A Kingfisher on North Cambridge Street was one of the first of the fall. This is a bird that does not breed on Nantucket (if it does we have been unable to locate birds or pest site despite a decade of intense searching) so clearly the first migrants have arrived as well as one at the Momomoy Creeks.
Lastly a visit to Clark’s Pond revealed human and dog activity with few birds and Steve’s Woods was hot and seemingly devoid of birds.
The next Linda Loring Nature Foundation Birding Field Trip departs at 8-10:30A.M. on Wed. Sept. 9. Please plan or arriving 10 minutes early to sign up, meet other participants and figure out our car pool situation. We leave promptly at 8A.M.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Birding Field Trip-the day after heavy rain and persistent northeast winds
It had been dry for seeming weeks on end and finally on August 11th it rained and the wind blew from the northeast. Despite “drismal” weather and almost zero visibility the dozen participants who found their way to The Linda Loring Nature Foundation wanted to go out realizing that due to the weather we might not have seen a thing. We managed to depart on time and headed over to one of the scenic wonders of the island-the mud puddles in the back of the dump.
One of several benefits from the rain was the suppression of dust at the dump. Another benefit of the rain was that it created shorebird habitat while a third benefit forced migrating shorebirds to abandon their overflight and put down on the nearest suitable habitat. The dump “puddle” had been totally dry the day before and now it resembled a small lake. An impressive grouping of shorebirds including a Mallard, 4 Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper in basic plumage, 18 Least Sandpipers, 4 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 3 Lesser Yellowlegs had recently appeared. Lots of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls were on the road and sitting on the roofs of the buildings.
There were birders’ from around the country on the trip and some were very keen to see Lesser Black-backed Gull. We left the dump and proceeded to Madaket where the fog was thicker than ever and you could not even see as far as the surf breaking. We continued to Jackson Point where an Osprey stopped by to visit the pole, a few Double-crested Cormorants sat on buoys and a Great Egret was remarkably tame preening in a pool in the parking lot allowing approach by vehicles of 20 feet. A Northern Harrier came by and was attacked by vocal and aggressive Willets who undoubtedly had young in the marsh nearby. The Willets drove the young Harrier off to the east.
Returning back to Madaket the weather was just clearing and visibility over the ocean went from zero to a couple of miles much to the delight of all the group. Steady stream of Cory’s Shearwaters lazily drifted by and 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls mostly 3rd cycle and a couple of dozen Laughing Gulls certainly improved everyone’s spirits. There were Sanderlings and Semipalmated Plovers on the beach with the occasional fly-by group of Common Terns and a few Least Terns.
We ended up at Clark’s Cove where no less than 5 Northern Harriers, 3 Ospreys and 3 Red-tailed Hawks were making themselves fairly obvious. A couple of flocks of Black-bellied Plovers came by heading west and then it was time to head back to the Linda Loring Nature Foundation. The next trip is Sat. Aug. 15 from 110 Eel Point Road. Be sure to arrive 10 minutes early as we leave promptly at 8A.M. Hope for some northwest winds. For further information please call the LLNF at 508-325-0873 and ask for Vern Laux.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Birding Field Trip from 8-10:30 A.M. to various locations on the West End
A stunner of a morning, weather and temperatures do not get any better, it was a great day to head out and look for birds with a group of 16 enthusiastic birders, some experienced, some for their first time. Departing the Linda Loring Nature Foundation promptly at 8 A.M. the group headed for the south shore to look for seabirds. First stop was the parking lot owned by the Madaket Land Trust at the end of the Madaket Road. Only detour was for a fairly large snapping turtle that was on the road near the dump so we got out and helped it cross without getting run over by a vehicle.
Conditions at the beach lot were fabulous as there was a light southwest wind and good light for sea watching. There were 5 spotting scopes available and no birds close to shore except for a few Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. Fortuitously, 2 different 2nd cycle (second summer of life) Lesser Black-backed Gulls landed right in front of us and allowed fabulous views of a rather dull looking immature gull. The thing that is exciting about this species is that it is a Eurasian species not known to breed in North America and yet is found year round in increasing numbers on Nantucket. The first-timers in the group as well as most participants I have to admit were not thrilled by these rather drab birds but the expert birders from Philadelphia were delighted to see them so well.
While discussing various bird and wildlife topics all participants got distant but good views of Cory’s Shearwaters through the spotting scopes. These large, graceful, tubenoses, fly very differently from other shearwaters with long, bowed wings and a leisurely flight somehow reminiscent of a bat. They generally are a warm water species and up until a few years ago were not expected in New England waters until late July or August. Over the past few years they have been arriving and departing waters around the Cape and Islands, earlier in the summer and leaving alter in the fall despite water temperatures that are much cooler than what the species used to tolerate. Not sure what it all means but clearly something is going on.
Good views of Pine Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler and comparisons between Song and Savannah Sparrows as well made for a most enjoyable morning. The next Birding Field Trip is on Wed. June 17 departing from 110 Eel Point Road. Participants are asked to arrive 10 minutes early to sign in, meet others in the group and be ready to go when the clock strikes 8 A.M. Hope to see you on the next trip.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Shearwater Bonanza-off the south shore at Madaket
All day on June 8th the wind increased from the southeast. It continued to blow throughout the night and morning of June 9th. Things were looking promising for seabirds along the south shore. A few Cory’s and Sooty Shearwaters, a Parasitic Jaeger and a Northern Gannet were seen just before dark off the south shore from the Madaket Land Trust lot at the end of the Madaket Road. Conditions were setting up, if the wind held its direction and speed or hopefully intensified the morning of the 9th had all the ingredients and potential to see a flight of seabirds.
The weather cooperated and the wind blew hard out of south/southeast on June 8, increased all night on the 8th and morning of the 9th, delivering a massive number of shearwaters to Tuckernuck and Nantucket Islands south shore. The morning of June 9th was spectacular on the waters just south of the islands as many thousands of Cory’s Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters, a few Great and Manx Shearwaters, 2 Northern Fulmars, a few Northern Gannets, dozens of Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, a couple of Parasitic Jaegers and a South Polar Skua were seen.
This impressive number of seabirds was literally the tip of the iceberg so to speak as the 20 to 30 mph wind was not really strong enough to drive them in very close. A spotting scope was needed to identify most of the birds. The horizon was a blur of Sooty Shearwaters zipping up and down on the horizon. At any rate is was a great show and these birds flying east are heading further north where they come to spend the summer having already bred on some remote islands in the far south of the Atlantic. They come to spend our summer but it is their winter.
Review of Winter Birding 2015-Synopsis of Birding Field Trips and Island Sightings from Jan. 1 thru March 31
The weather this winter has been as harsh and brutal on the island as it had ever been. Records for snowfall, temperatures, wind speeds, etc. were set.
March 31, 2015-At 8 A. M. a pair of Ospreys arrived, when seen together they are clearly a male and female due to a noticeable difference in size. The female averages a third heavier and has slightly longer wings and tail. This is the latest date in March that we have had Ospreys return to the nest pole.
March 30, 2015-Pair of Ospreys nest building and courting at the Hither Creek Pole a.k.a. Drake’s). They are both bringing sticks to the nest and the male is displaying, calling and flying high carrying a fish. No Ospreys visible on either of the LLNF poles either on the 29th or 30th.
March 25, 2015 Birding Field Trip around Bartlett’s, West End of Island
Highlights included great views of an adult Blue Goose and 6 Killdeer at Bartlett’s Farm, and 2 adult Black-headed Gulls starting to molt heavily into their breeding plumage when they acquire a “brownish” hooded appearance on their head.
Eurasian Tufted Ducks, both a hen and a drake, while often difficult to find spent the winter somewhere on Long Pond. They were most often seen, when the north head of Long Pond was open associating with a flock of anywhere from 250-500 Greater Scaup.
8-10:30 A.M. Wed. Nov. 19, 2014
Birding Field Trip
A dedicated and crazy group of 5 die-hard birders, all members of the LLNF and regular attendees on these trips appeared to go on the Birding Field Trip. The air temperature was 26, the wind was SW at 25 G 40 and the wind chill was what one would expect in February, not mid-November. The birding must go on so we set off for the West End of the island and Smith Point with hopes of finding a Snowy Owl. The first Snowy Owl of the 2014 fall/winter season was seen being strafed by a Peregrine Falcon late on the afternoon of November 16th whil several others arrived at beaches on Cape Cod. The wind and wind chill made viewing conditions absolutely horrendous and it was impossible to keep one's eyes from tearing. After beating ourselves up the group decided to use some common sense and wait to bird another day in better conditions. As the day wore on the sun came out, the wind moderated and a Merlin, immature Sharp-shinned Hawk, adult Cooper's Hawk, a dozen Turkey Vultures and a few Purple Finches were seen from the Foundation House at the LLNF.
8-10:30 A.M. Wed. Nov. 12, 2014
Birding Field Trip
A small but determined group left the LLNF promptly at 8 A.M. to scour the west end from Eel Point to Jackson Point in search of migrant landbirds and vagrant flycatchers. The wind was light from the NW at about 10 mph and birds moving west and heading off the island were constantly overhead as they moved down the north shore just above Eel Point Road. We stopped at a puddle just past the 40th pole to watch many American Robins, Yellow-rumped Warblers and Song Sparrows bathe and drink. An Orange-crowned Warbler came in and delighted the birders with great views a couple of times and some photos were managed. A couple of Merlins, a lone Peregrine Falcon, several White-breasted Nuthatches and small groups of both Pine Siskins and Purple Finches perching in the tops of trees and flying over calling were definite highlights.
October 17-19, 2014
Summary of Highlights of birds seen on the Nantucket Birding Festival sponsored by The Linda Loring Nature Foundation on Nantucket.
This year’s festival was another great success with good fun had by all the participants. It got off to a great start, middle and finish with really superb weather that allowed for all field trips and scheduled events to go on as planned.
The festival started on the evening of October 16 with the introductory dinner at The Westmoor Club. Aside from great food and company, participants got to meet each other, hear from the leaders, get an outline of what to expect and get filled in on the details for the many upcoming field trips over the next 3 days. Then it was off to bed and see everyone back here at 7:45 A.M. for the Friday morning field trips.
The first stop was at Ice House Pond off the Madaket Road to the banding station manned by Richard Veit and several of his graduate students as well as Ginger and Edith Andrews, Kitty Pochman and Sarah Bois. They had opened the nets at first light and had many birds “in the bag”, literally, when the first birders arrived. It is quite a thrill to see live birds in the hand and watch as they are measured, weighed, aged and banded. Then you can hold them and release them back into the wild.
Simultaneously, another group was birding several locations on the West End of Nantucket and finding lots including great views of Lincoln’s, Swamp, White-throated, White-crowned, Field and Song Sparrows. Highlights of the weekend from the many field trips included, Hudsonian Godwit and Stilt Sandpiper as “Best in Show” for shorebirds, good views of Barn Owl on the owl prowl on the evening of Oct. 17 as well as hearing a few calls and yelps from Saw-whet Owl.
Other birding highlights included Harlequin Duck, American Bittern, Cattle Egret, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pomarine Jaeger, Hairy Woodpecker, White-eyed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black and White Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Cape May Warbler, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Clay-colored Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Dickcissel, Rusty Blackbird, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin and Evening Grosbeak.
All 3 falcons were well seen and Merlins and Peregrines were widespread and seen engaging in various hunting tactics. Many allowed excellent photos. Participants agreed that the festival was a big success and while not finding any outrageous rarities or new birds for the island this year-it was a great educational and fun experience with plenty of birds and great leaders to keep everyone actively engaged. As usual there are many of us that can't wait until next year.
11:45 A.M. Thursday, September 24, 2014
While checking the very active bird feeders in the drizzle and counting 16 Eastern Towhees on the ground, a merlin streaked in from the south and grabbed an immature male Eastern Towhee. The apparent subadult female Merlin, mantled her prey by spreading her wings wide and hiding her kill. After about 2 minutes she flew off to the south with her prey. It is a jungle out there!
8-10:30 A. M. Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Birding Field Trip
Highlights for the morning, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, great close-up views of Bobolink, good looks at both Cooper’s Hawks and Merlin
A light north by northeast wind was puffing as an eager and enthusiastic group of 23 birders departed promptly departed the LLNF by carpool for the southeast corner of Eel Point Road. A female Belted Kingfisher, hundreds of Trees Swallows, several groups of Cedar Waxwings perched showing well and a fly-by Merlin were enjoyable. There was little, in fact no evidence of any nocturnal migrants so we moved on.
The Community Garden off Hummock Pond Road was loaded with House Sparrows, Song Sparrows and had fair numbers of American Goldfinches that had just had a close encounter with a large, immature female Cooper’s Hawk that strafed the place as we arrived calming birdlife down considerably. After extensive searching an Indigo Bunting, really a misnomer at this time of year for this drab little finch and a Blue Grosbeak, also not blue at this time of year were located. Eventually both birds cooperated and good views were had by all in the group. A very obliging Bobolink flew in and landed right in front of us in spectacular light allowing the photographers to burn many digital images.
A quick trip to the Horse Farm overlook on Hummock Pond revealed many hundreds of Canada Geese, 75 Mute Swans, 14 Mallards and a handsome pair of Wood Ducks. The water level is high but there was some shoreline and 3 Semipalmated Plovers, 6 Least Sandpipers and a Pectoral Sandpiper were seen distantly in spotting scopes.
The next birding trip departs from 110 Eel Point Road, The Linda Loring Nature promptly at 8 A.M. Plan on arriving 10 minutes early to sign up, meet other participants and discuss what birds we might like to see. The trip is free for members of the LLNF and $10 for non-members.
Whimbrel in Creeks
August 12, 2014
Birding Field Trip
Another beautiful morning with light southeast winds, clear skies and a perfect 75 degree temperature greeted the 17 Birding Field Trip participants on this perfect August morning. A Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a Kestrel Box behind the Foundation House and an Osprey sitting in the pines were in spotting scopes for viewing while everyone got signed up. The group proceeded by carpool to The Creeks and were treated to a very low tide and lots of birds. Highlights included but were not limited to a Laughing Gull, 12 Black-bellied Plovers, 120 Semipalmated Plovers, 10 Willets, 26 Greater Yellowlegs, 10 Whimbrel, 24 Least Sandpipers, 6 Great Egrets, 10 Snowy Egrets and good views of Saltmarsh Sparrows. These secretive sparrows are never easy to get a look at but several perched on the mid-tide grass allowing excellent looks.
From there we headed to The Head of the Plains to search for landbirds. Eastern Kingbirds were migrating and a dozen were seen perched up dead snags and Wild Black Cherry Trees. Several Red-tailed Hawks were seen perched out in the distance. We parked and walked through a grove of Pitch Pines where we spotted an immature Merlin, while watching this bird another flew in calling and a 3rd individual was spotted perched further out. They were well seen by all in spotting scopes allowing “crippling” views. Three Merlins on August 12th is exciting news as these small falcons are rare breeders but nested successfully nearby and we were fortunate to see three of the fledged young. In another couple of weeks there will be migrant Merlins coming down from the Taiga peaking in numbers on Nantucket in early October. While watching the Merlins the group had a small mixed species flock of landbirds with a Downy Woodpecker, a Blue Jay, 12 Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Pine Warblers and 10 Eastern Towhees.
A stop at Clark’s Cove was not productive as several people had just walked across at the water’s edge and flushed all the birds. A couple of Spotted Sandpipers and about 30 Sanderlings on the Outer Beach was all we could manage before we had to head back. All agreed it had been a fine morning and claimed to have had a good time. The next Birding Field Trip departs on Friday, August 15 at 8 A.M. Plan on arriving at least 10 minutes early at 7:50 to sign the register, meet the other participants and discuss what we might like to try to find.
Willet in Flight
Friday, August 8, 2014
Birding Field Trip
A beautiful morning, clear, sunny, north wind at 10 miles per hour and no humidity. Hopes for nocturnal land bird migrants were high as the dozen birders headed off from the LLNF at the crack of 8 A.M. First stop was to Pat’s Puddle where the puddle was not visible and no shorebirds were seen. Next up the Community Garden off of Hummock Pond Road was visited. The gardens were lovely but the birding was slow with just House Sparrows, Starlings, a few Brown-headed Cowbirds and several Turkey Vultures overhead. Hummock Pond was next up and it had large numbers of Canada Geese, approximately 350 and 45 Mute Swans in evidence with only a handful of Mallards seen. Along the shoreline were a Spotted Sandpiper and 2 Killdeer. Turkey Vultures and Ospreys were constantly overhead while American Robins and Barn Swallows were migrating, flying in small but steady numbers to the west. The swallows are diurnal migrants while the robins appeared to be reorienting west after moving last night. Last we visited a couple of spots at the Head of the Plains ending at Clark’s Cove. There were some shorebirds including a Black-bellied Plover, 3 Willets, 4 Least Sandpipers, 100 Sanderlings and a Spotted Sandpiper. Flying a little way offshore were fishing terns, mostly Common and a few Least and one group of terns flew right along the surf line that had a lone Roseate Tern amongst the 15 Common Terns. A very fresh Red-spotted Purple butterfly was showing nicely on the dirt road. The next Birding Field Trip departs from the LLNF on Tuesday, Aug. 12. Plan on arriving 10 minutes early to register and meet the other participants.
Black Skimmer in Flight-Skimming
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Birding Field Trip departed LLNF promptly at 8 A.M.
Despite dense fog and little wind the trip must go on. A jovial group departed for the Head of the Plains to search for land birds and whatever else we could find. While out in the Pitch Pines looking at a mixed flock of 10 Black-capped Chickadees, 3 Pine Warblers, 2 Common Yellowthroats and lots of Eastern Towhees and Gray Catbirds we heard the calls of a Merlin coming from nearby. After intense scrutiny of nearby dead pines in the fog, good views of 2 Merlins were had by the entire group. These small, speedy falcons, an apparent male and female based on their size differences, the females weighing about a third more than males, put on a dazzling show as they chased each other while calling loudly. An Osprey flew in and perched in a dead pine behind the Merlins while we were watching them.
Impressive here was the abundance of spider webs “illuminated” by the fog which beaded up on the webs making them glow. Some were fully 3 feet across high in the trees but most were smaller and in the Black Huckleberry and Bayberry Shrubs as well in the Little Blue Stem grass. They were made by a spider called the Golden-Orb Weaver, a couple of which were visible in the middle of their webs. On the drive down towards the beach we stopped for 2 immature Northern Harriers that we put in spotting scopes. They were being harassed and strafed by a very angry Eastern Kingbird.
Despite terrible visibility a walk out to Clark’s Cove Beach produced a Semipalmated Plover, a Black-bellied Plover, 4 Willets, 3 American Oystercatchers, and some flyover Common Terns along with 2 Roseate Terns. After a dog came running out from the other side scaring everything, the highlight of the day, a Black Skimmer flew in out of the fog from the ocean and began skimming right in front of the group. These unmistakable birds are quite rare on Nantucket so when it made repeated passes and then landed and took a bath close by-the group was delighted. It was a life bird for most in the group and anytime you see the only bird in the world with an elongated lower mandible things are good. On the way back to LLNF good views were had of a couple of perched Red-tailed Hawks.
The next Birding Field Trip is on Friday, July 8 at 8 A.M. Plan on arriving 10 minutes early, 7:50 A.M. to sign the register, meet other participants and talk about what we want to look for. We depart the LLNF at the crack of 8 A.M.
Friday, August 1, 2014
Birding Field Trip
A friendly and charged up group left the LLNF at 8 A.M., under lovely skies with a light southerly wind, heading for the beach at Madaket. It was very slow there with no seabirds and only a few Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls to learn about. A 2nd cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull flew by and a group of 4 Cedar Waxwings made a brief appearance before the group headed to the Smith Point Gatehouse. The tide was low and thousands of shorebirds were on the flats as well as hundreds of roosting terns. While distant, the groups got views of lots of Semipalmated Plovers, Black-bellied Plovers, Short-billed Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs, Willets, Sanderlings, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Least Sandpipers. Amongst the throng of Common Terns were some Roseate Terns and a handful of Black Terns.
While enroute to Clark’s Cove the group stopped to admire a Monarch, which have been extremely scarce this year. This is only the 3rd sighting of a Monarch on Nantucket this year! This individual was a very fresh, as in newly emerged female so perhaps she will lay eggs on milkweed which is abundant this year. Clark’s Cove was devoid of birds on the beach having been chased off by free running dogs just before we arrived.
Last and certainly not least was the show-stopper. We went to check on the nest of a small falcon called Merlins that had fairly grown young a week ago. All 4 of the “babies” were now “branchers” calling loudly and flying about. It was a most welcome sight and marks the 3rd year running that Merlins successfully fledged young on the south side of Nantucket. This is one of only 3 known nests in Massachusetts and one of the others is on Nantucket as well. These exciting birds while small are tremendous flying machines that feed on small birds that they capture in flight often in spectacular chases with lots of aerobatics.
The next Birding Field Trip is on Tuesday, August 5 departing from 110 Eel Point Road. Be sure to arrive at 7:50 to register, meet the other participants and talk about what you might like to look for. Trips leave promptly at 8 A.M.
MERLIN in flight with a partially eaten bird.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Birding Field Trip, 8-10:30 A.M.
A fun, enthusiastic small group of 9 departed the LLNF promptly at 8 A.M. First stop was the Monomoy Creeks along the southwest corner of Nantucket Harbor. With a light north wind blowing there were no biting insects and conditions were delightful. Saltmarsh Sparrows put on a great show and over a dozen individuals were flitting about in the Spartina, the mid-tide or cord grass, just 30 feet from us. We had “crippling” views in both binoculars and the spotting scopes. These generally very shy and retiring birds are hard to get a good look at so this group was very fortunate. While checking the marsh we saw 4 Great Egrets, 4 Snowy Egrets, a couple of Black-crowned Night Herons and 2 American Oystercatchers.
We then proceeded to the Head of the Plains and Clark’s Cove. Sadly, people with free roaming canines were there first so the shorebirds and gulls that would normally have been resting there were gone so people could throw sticks for their dogs in this remote and very wildlife friendly area. Walking to the outer beach we had a couple of fly-by Lesser Black-backed Gulls, they were a 2nd and 3rd cycle birds as well as a few Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls.
The unexpected highlight of the trip was the finding of 4 Merlin chicks that are getting close to fledging. These small falcons are very rare nesters in New England and finding these 4 birds delighted all participants. As regards the location, it is a big secret as these birds don’t need any disturbance or harassment from people that would love to see them. All agreed with our good fortune at finding it and understood the need to safe guard its location.
At the LLNF front garden today has been busy with butterflies and other interesting insects. On the Butterfly Bush and Butterfly Milkweed we had 2 American Ladies, 3 Painted Ladies, 3 American Coppers, a Pearl Crescent and a day flying Hummingbird Clear-wing Moth.
The next Birding Field Trip is scheduled for Tuesday July 29 departing at 8 A.M. Plan on arriving 10 minutes earlier 7:50 A.M. to register, meet other participants and discuss what you would like to see.
Tuesday July 22, 2014
Birding Field Trip
An enthusiastic group including a dozen first time birders departed the LLNF by Car Pool promptly at 8 A.M. We first went to look at the ocean off Madaket where we were rewarded with 5 Common Loons sitting on the calm sea and distant views of a handful of Cory’s Shearwaters and a lone Wilson’s Storm-Petrel. There were a few Gray Seals that kept popping up to check us out close to shore. Moving on to the Gate House on Smith’s Point we scanned the flats and had distant views of 40 Short-billed Dowitchers, 12 Willets, a Snowy Egret and 35 Double-crested Cormorants. We then proceeded to check Madaket Harbor from near Warren’s Landing and found Great Egret and had a very cooperative Carolina Wren singing that many participants got to view in a spotting scope.
We next proceeded to the Head of the Plains with its nesting Savannah Sparrows and Clark’s Cove where shorebirds kept dropping in. Several Common Yellowthroats kept perching up right in front of us while we were watching the shorebirds thru spotting scopes. While we were there we had arrive 3 Laughing Gulls, 2 Killdeer, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Spotted Sandpiper and 3 Least Sandpipers. Walking out to the beach we found another Common Loon on the water and had a couple of distant Cory’s Shearwaters and a Northern Gannet (2nd cycle) fly-by. Just as we were leaving 4 American Oystercatchers and a Willet flew close-by as they flew east just along the surf line, affording great views and adding a colorful and pleasing ending to our last stop. The next Birding Field Trip will be on Friday, July 25th at the LLNF. I suggest arriving 10 minutes ahead of time at 7:50 A.M. to meet me, the other participants and to sign the register.
Tuesday July 22, 2014
White-winged Dove Update
Sadly, the White-winged Dove turned out to be a one-day wonder. Despite rather intensive observation from several interested parties the bird has not reappeared or been seen again.
Friday July 18, 2014, at the Foundation House, 110 Eel Point Road
Enjoying a late lunch today at the Foundation we discovered a White-winged Dove on the ground under the bird feeders. This would not be big news in south Texas or Mexico but anywhere in the eastern U.S. and this far north it generates a good bit of excitement. The bird has been hanging out in the Japanese Black Pines and visiting the feeders for a couple of hours. With any luck it will stay for a while. Check back often for updates. I certainly hope that its appearance is not a one day wonder.
Least Tern in Flight with Sand Lance
Friday July 18, 2014
Birding Field Trip
A happy group departed 110 Eel Point Road, carpooling, to search for shorebirds and terns. First stop was the mouth of the harbor at Jetties Beach. There were people letting dogs run wild in several places and we could not find much of anything. A couple of American Oystercatchers and lots of Double-crested Cormorants were about it. We quickly left there and went to the Creeks. The tide was mid-range and we were able to find 4 Great Egrets, 6 Snowy Egrets, a Black-crowned Night Heron, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, 5 Whimbrel and 4 Willets feeding in the marsh grasses. Good views were had of all in the spotting scopes.
We also had great looks at several Saltmarsh Sparrows while overlooking the marsh. One sparrow even stayed put in some Spartina long enough for it be seen in the spotting scopes. These secretive and hard to find sparrows were a big hit with many in the group as they are never easy to find. We had great, prolonged views this morning.
We next headed to Surfside where we went out to the beach and then headed west to a fenced off Least Tern colony. Near the colony we had great views of adult, recently fledged and flightless chicks of Least Terns. We had a small family of Piping Plovers including 3 young birds that had recently fledged with all black bills and a different plumage than the adults. A flock of 18 Sanderlings, some still in their reddish breeding plumage were also seen feeding along the surf line. We then trekked back to the lot and headed back to the LLNF. The next Birding Field Trip will be Tuesday morning July 22 departing promptly at 8 A.M. Plan on getting there at least 10 minutes early to register, meet other participants, and discuss what birds we want to look for.
Little Blue Heron-photo by David Policanski taken on the trip
Tuesday July 15, 2014
Birding Field Trip
An enthusiastic group met at The Linda Loring Nature Foundation at 7:50 A.M. While introducing ourselves an obliging Red-tailed Hawk was perched in a tree next to the Foundation House that we had several spotting scopes trained on. They are powerful, impressive raptors and all were thrilled by the great view of this presumed female with her large size and patient ways.
We departed promptly at 8 A.M. for Jetties Beach where the wind and tides had I hoped conspired to bring us lots of birds. The tide was extremely low and a couple of American Oystercatchers, a Piping Plover and 5 Least Sandpipers provided some good viewing and lots to talk about. A few distant fly-by terns were a mixed bag of Common and Roseate Terns but the views were not satisfactory for most in the group.
We then checked the flats at Monomoy which were as extensive as I have ever seen them. The good news was there were lots of birds including 5 Semipalmated Plovers, 2 American Oystercatchers, 5 Whimbrel, 26 Willets with 2 Western Willets in the mix and 12 Greater Yellowlegs on the flats as well as 3 Great Egrets and 3 Snowy Egrets that were feeding out on the edge. The views of the Whimbrel were really good as they fed close by on the tidal flats while being observed in the spotting scopes revealing their long decurved bill, nicely patterned head with a crown stripe and boldly marked supercilium.
Most unexpected and cooperative was the adult Little Blue Heron that was just over the top of the marsh opposite the flats. It fed along the edge of a marsh pool providing “crippling views” to all participants. This heron is always quite scarce on Nantucket and was a very good find on the Birding Field Trip-the first of its kind seen on Nantucket this year.
From there a trip to Folger's Marsh provided good views of several more Whimbrel, a Spotted Sandpiper, 8 Snowy Egrets, 4 Great Egrets and 2 adult Black-crowned Night Herons. Ospreys were seen fishing, flying about and one was eating a fish in the marsh grass.
The next Birding Field Trip departs on Friday morning July 18 departing promptly at 8 A.M. We would love to have you join us!
Friday July 11, 2014
Birding Field Trip
A fun group assembled at 7:50 A.M. at 110 Eel Point Road under gray skies with a light northeast wind. We departed promptly at 8 A.M. Conditions seemed just right for migrant shorebirds to have been grounded during the night so it was off to the West End of the island and the Smith's Point Gatehouse. A stop at the end of the Madaket Road, with visions of finding the Atlantic Puffin we had last seen on July 4th did not materialize. A few distant Cory's Shearwaters and lots of nearshore Gray Seal activity with a few Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls as well as a fly-by American Oystercatcher were about it for that location.
We then proceeded to walk down the Madaket Harbor side of the beach towards Esther's Island in search of terns, shorebirds and whatever else we might find. It was less than overwhelming but we managed good views of American Oystercatcher, Willet and had 3 fly-by species of terns including a few Roseate Terns and a breeding plumage Laughing Gull. A female Common Eider was floating around near shore affording great looks and eliciting much discussion.
Lastly, we went to Clark's Cove which was almost devoid of birds except for 4 immature gulls, a fly-by Laughing Gull and a group of 25 Canada Geese. However as we were scanning a Parasitic Jaeger was flying over the ocean slightly to the east. We hustled out to the beach but were unable to relocate the jaeger but got decent views of a couple of Cory's Shearwaters. In the surf to our west were 2 American Oystercatchers feeding on mole crabs that were putting on quite a show. The next trip is Tuesday morning departing at 8 A.M. I would love to see you and plan on arriving at 7:50 A.M. to sign the registration, meet other participants and allowing us to leave on time.
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER-IN FLIGHT
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Birding Field Trip
A nice group went out this morning and left the LLNF to explore the end of the Madaket Road for seabirds. With the fresh southwest winds that have been blowing for several days and reports yesterday, July 7, of a Sandwich Tern and an Atlantic Puffin from the beach heading to Great Point and a Royal Tern report from Smith's Point, as well as Cory's Shearwaters all along the south shore, things looked promising. Despite putting in a good 20 minutes scanning with spotting scopes and binoculars we saw little. Continuing on the the "Gate House" on the way to Smith's Point we scanned the flats and noted some migrant shorebirds including 25 Short-billed Dowitchers, Greater Yellowlegs, a Ruddy Turnstone and 3 American Oystercatchers. There were Common and Least Terns on the shore as well. Then a trip to Clark's Cove produced not only great scenery, Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers and Osprey but a 2nd cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull, an adult Laughing Gull still with a black head and numerous Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls as well as 35 Canada Geese. Then to finish we headed to the Lily Pond in town to hear and glimpse at least 3 adult Virginia Rails and hear chicks calling and making little noises just a few feet from us but totally obscured, invisible in the cattails. The next Birding Field Trip leaves on Friday morning July 11 departing from the LLNF promptly at 8 A.M.
ATLANTIC PUFFIN-BASIC PLUMAGE
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Birding Field Trip-Atlantic Puffin at end of Madaket Road!
The birding field trip today had a major rarity! Thank you to Jeff Carlson who called me early this morning to tell me about an Atlantic Puffin he was watching off the end of the Madaket Road. I ran down from where I live and saw the bird. When the field trip convened we high-tailed it back to the end of the Madaket Road and within about 10 minutes, with the aid of spotting scopes, located the bird well offshore. Eventually all participants got excellent views of this charismatic species. With man's aid they have been reestablished on a few small islands in the Gulf of Maine and they increase as one moves north in the North Atlantic. Over 10 million Atlantic Puffins nest in Iceland and there are lots nesting in Labrador and Greenland. After nesting they head offshore until the next breeding season. They are very rare on Nantucket and when seen they are usually glimpsed very unsatisfactorily flying by during a fierce mid-winter storm. To see one not far off the beach on July first was a real treat! There were other birds but the puffin was so exciting there is no need to mention them now.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Birding Field Trip-Nature’s Way-It’s Tough Out There!
Did not enjoy seeing an adult Red-tailed Hawk tearing up an immature Northern Harrier at the Head of the Plains. Red-tailed Hawks are a serious predator of Northern Harriers on Nantucket. They can’t catch the adults but as the young harriers begin to fledge and are learning to fly, the Red-tails are merciless. The adult harriers, both male and female, attempt to drive resident Red-tailed Hawks as far away from the nest site as possible when the young start to fly. This is the second time in 5 years that I have seen a Red-tailed Hawk kill a just learning to fly Northern Harrier.
In other bad news, small falcon’s called Merlin’s that were nesting nearby are gone and so is the old American Crow’s nest they were using. I had not looked at the nest in over 2 weeks but something bad has happened there. I could not even find any signs of the destroyed nest and really have no clue as to what misfortune befell this nest. Sad news as this species has just started breeding in Massachusetts and specifically on Nantucket and is really rare as a breeding bird.
The birding highlight was the second cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull that was loafing at Clark’s Cove with 12 Great Black-backed Gulls and 6 Herring Gulls. There was a lot of butterfly activity this morning with Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Red-spotted Purple, American Lady, the first emerging Common Wood Nymphs of 2014 on Nantucket, a few American Coppers and about 40 Pearl Crescents, all well seen.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Birding Field Trip from 8-10:30 A.M. Highlights included Least Tern's with chicks, Piping Plover, Osprey feeding nestlings at close range and Common Eiders
Another perfect morning making for a string of 6 days in a row with bright sun, little wind and summerlike conditions, it's starting to feel like southern California here. Nice group got to see Least Terns and many chicks being fed at Smith's Point, an adult Piping Plover, several Willets and a group of Common Eider out in Madaket Harbor. No shearwaters but lots of gulls working behind fishing boats, draggers, off the end of the Madaket Road. Usual suspects for land birds, no surprises but good views of many species.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Birding Field Trip from 8-10:30 A.M. Highlights included 4 Common Loons, 2 Cory's Shearwaters, Piping Plover Incubating, Pearl Crescent Butterflies
A lovely morning with a very friendly group of participants were treated to Common Loons in basic plumage, sitting in the water off the end of the Madaket Road as well as a couple of distant Cory's Shearwaters, 8 White-winged Scoters and a handful of Common Eiders. At the Head of the Plains we encountered an emergence of Pearl Crescent butterflies that was very impressive. One clump of flowering daisies had over 40 Pearl Crescent's nectaring on them with virtually every flower having a lovely, newly emerged orange butterfly on it!
ROYAL TERN IN FLIGHT
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Birding Field Trip from 8-10:30 A.M. -Highlights included 3 species of shearwaters and a Royal Tern
The small group departed the LLNF right at 8 A.M. and the first stop was by the 2nd Bridge on the Madaket Road where a House Wren was singing prolifically. All got good views of this small but feisty and determined species attempting to establish a foothold on Nantucket. This lone male bird has been moving around the West End of the island singing for a week at a location then moving to another but still has not been able to find a female House Wren. He is due to move again soon.
From there we headed to the end of the road to check on seabirds that might be flying in the brisk South Southwest winds. Views were had of 6 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Cory’s Shearwaters, a lone Great Shearwater, some of the birds in fairly close but the Great Shearwater was a long ways off. At least 6 immature Northern Gannets flew by and 4 first and second cycle Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew by from east to west and landed on the beach just to the west of the group.
While looking at several Willets, a lone Greater Yellowlegs, 6 American Oystercatchers and lots of Least Terns and about 20 common Terns on the way out to look off the beach the tide was very low. Upon returning back to the vehicles a half hour later the tide had come in considerably and another scan of the flats revealed a breeding plumaged Royal Tern with full black forehead, head and crown with a noticeable crest and its big orange bill and black legs. It was a distant but good view in the spotting scopes of a pretty rare bird for Nantucket, especially at this date and in this plumage that is only held for a brief time.
EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL
June 16, 2014 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail-First of 2014 on Nantucket
The first Eastern Tiger Swallowtail of the year on Nantucket, a large yellow and black distinctively marked butterfly, flew by the North Head of Long Pond this afternoon. These large butterflies are powerful on the wing and are found in small numbers on Nantucket throughout the summer. The adults lay their eggs on a variety of host plants but Wild Black Cherry , which is abundant on Nantucket, is their preferred food plant of choice on the island. Other butterflies seen today were 15 Pearl Crescents, a Spring Azure, 2 American Ladies and 6 Juvenal's Duskywings. The return of sunny weather is just what the butterflies have ordered and the best butterflying of the year on Nantucket occurs over the next 6 weeks.
June 11, 2014 Birding Field Trip
The Wednesday morning birding trip was well attended with 15 enthusiastic participants. We started out by heading over to Hummock Pond Road to check several areas. The convoy stopped on Millbrook Road to admire a medium-sized female Snapping Turtle and a large female Painted Turtle that were prospecting for a place to lay eggs right in the road. We all got great views of the turtle and helped them to move off and look elsewhere while we held up several landscapers in pick-up trucks. I like to think we saved both these turtles from being flattened.
Continuing on to Pat's Puddle we stopped and watched a male Brown-headed Cowbird land on the back of a large brown horse. This led to a discussion of Brown-headed Cowbirds, their former range, how they spread, brood parasitism and then to Kirtland's Warbler restoration efforts and cowbird control. Venturing on to the Horse Paddock entrance on the east side of Hummock Pond the group was treated to a persistent hunting Osprey trying to catch fish although the surface was rough and roiled. We watched this male bird hover, dive and miss 7 times and discussed how critical his need to catch fish for nestlings was at this juncture of the season. Mute Swans were also discussed. Our last stop was down to the Head of the Plains and the group was treated to fantastic views of a pair of Merlins. It was a highlight to see them at fairly close range in the scope, noting the specialized adaptations of these small falcons. Next week the Birding Field Trips switch days and will now be on Tuesdays and Fridays thru August, departing the LLNF at 110 Eel Point Road promptly at 8 A.M. If you are going to join us plan on arriving at least 10 minutes ahead of time.
Seen on the Birding Field Trip April 2, 2014
Tufted Duck, 2 European Wigeon, 52 Red-necked Grebe, 2 Great Egret, 120 Razorbill, 6 Snowy Owls, Merlin, Peregrine, Brown Thrasher, Northern Shrike and Northern Harriers courting. Weekly Birding Field Trips on Wednesdays at 8 am.
Snowy Owl Visits the Linda Loring Nature Foundation Story Walk on January 24, 2014
A Snowy Owl dropped in at the LLNF on the morning of January 24th. The current historic “irruption” of Snowy Owls is unprecedented. There are more Snowy Owls in the northeast than have ever been reported before. Nantucket is ground zero for many of the visiting owls and may have the highest density anywhere in the United States. An amazing total of 33 individuals was recorded on the annual Christmas Bird Count absolutely shattering the previous all time high of 4 Snowy Owls in the counts 75 year history. The islands beaches, shorelines, dunes, airport and moors have all had Snowy Owls and we finally had a brief visit right next to the Foundation House on January 24th. The resident Red-tailed Hawks were not at all impressed by the Snowy Owl and attacked it until they managed to drive the bird off. The owl was last seen flying high and away to the northeast. The owl flew and began to climb, approximately a thousand feet high and flew away over Nantucket Sound towards Great Point. It was nice to have a visitation and see one at the LLNF. This Snowy Owl “irruption” has been ongoing since late November 2013 and on into 2014 has brought dozens of these large white Arctic nesting owls to Nantucket. They are seemingly everywhere making this the best winter to see these charismatic bird-ever.
SNOWY OWL ON BEACH
Snowy Owl Bonanza-Winter 2013/2014
Not only Nantucket but the entire northeastern U.S. and beyond is experiencing an unprecedented “irruption” of perhaps the best looking bird on the planet in the form of Arctic nesting and dwelling Snowy Owls. These charismatic birds breed in the far north and most years only fly a relatively short distance south. This year they arrived en masse, later than is typical when they experience what we call an “irruption” year. The owls appeared fast and furious starting around Thanksgiving and in numbers never seen before.
The Nantucket Christmas Bird Count was conducted on December 29. The island was split into 8 areas and each group is assigned to cover a particular area with the goal being to count every bird of every species in their respective areas. Despite less than ideal weather as it poured rain all afternoon, all participants were excitedly waiting to find out how many Snowy Owls would be recorded.
Snowy Owls are fairly easy to count as they are big and noticeable, especially when there is no snow cover although they can be a lot harder to see than you might think. They hate to waste energy and only move when they have to locate prey, avoid an attacking predator like a Peregrine Falcon, a dog off leash or some observers who have moved to close to the bird, disturbing it and forcing it to burn much needed energy. If you go in search of one of these amazing owls please be respectful and keep your distance. Undue disturbance can negatively impact their survival. They moved south for a reason and they like their privacy.
The count of Snowy Owls in each area has a high probability of being accurate as the birds are fairly sedentary during the course of a single day. So owls seen during the count generally stay put and an accurate count can be obtained. During the tally as each area read their Snowy Owl totals, a hush came over the group. When it was complete an astounding 33 Snowy Owls were recorded. This number was so far over the top. The previous high count for this species in almost 70 years of counting was 4 and that number only once. If you have never seen one of these amazing birds this is your chance. This is the winter of the Snowy Owl.
PO Box 149
Nantucket, MA 02554
110 Eel Point Road
Nantucket, MA 02554