Foggy Morning Birding

I went out with a Massachusetts Audubon group recently. We followed the new Covid-19 protocol: maximum 10 people, masks, distancing, no shared equipment and no carpools. And we were always outside, of course.

The morning started in the fog. It made identification difficult and photography even more difficult. This is what it looked like from the dike at Hellcat in the Parker River NWR. A Hudsonian Godwit was just a silhouette.

A Dowitcher flew close enough to get some shots.

The fog burned off later in the morning and we had some nice finds on the southern end of the island. This Sanderling and this Great Black-backed Gull have finished their molt and are looking pretty nice in their new feathers. The gull is sporting some ankle bracelets. A fashion plate!

There were a few Buff-breasted Sandpipers in the dunes at Sandy Point.

And an American Golden Plover flew out of the dunes and onto the beach where it posed for quite a while.

We moved back north to check out Stage Island Pool. The Yellowlegs were really active and kept flying in and out of a little beach, sometimes chasing each other in big loops.

The Mallards have finished breeding for the year and have molted. The males lose their bright green head feathers and look more like the females. The male is the one with the yellowish beak, while the female’s beak is mottled.

This juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron was hanging out on the nearby mudflats. Usually they are roosting at the time of morning that we saw this one.

September is a good month for bird watching. The shorebirds will continue to move through and the warblers are starting to show up as they head south. Then comes a bit of a lull until the sea ducks, grebes, loons and other wintering birds show up later in the fall.

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