Sachuest National Wildlife Refuge

Cooper’s Hawk

The other day my son and I decided we take a trip back down to Sachuest to see what was happening. We were on third Beach Rd. near Peabody’s Beach, when my son noticed a hawk up on the wires. We packed up the car and pulled slowly over to the side so we could photograph the bird through the car windows. It turned out to be a Cooper’s Hawk and was very cooperative. It did take off, but, only flew further down the road and still landed on the wires. We slowly followed the hawk and got some additional photographs. In fact, a car pulled up beside us and also the people entered started to take pictures. We did block the road for a short time.

Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk

The parking lot at the sanctuary had a large number of automobiles in it. Some of the people were out walking or running on the trails. But the majority were out fishing. The vegetation in the fields had grown up in the areas were covered with Goldenrod.

Trail leading up to the nature center with the sides lined by Goldenrod
Field of vegetation with Goldenrods

We started walking down the ocean trail, where on the side closest to the water where it was not mowed, I saw a brown lump. It turned out to be a spike-horned white-tailed deer. In fact, it was the only deer we saw that morning.

White-tailed Deer among the Goldenrod
White-tailed Deer among the Goldenrod
White-tailed Deer among the Goldenrod

Continuing walking down the trail, I came across a small area of flowers that I had had never seen before. Thanks to plant identification on Facebook, I learned that it was Jerusalem Artichoke. From Wikipedia ” The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunroot, sunchoke, or earth apple, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas.[ It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable Before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans grew H. tuberosus as a food source. The tubers persist for years after being planted, so that the species expanded its range from central North America to the eastern and western regions. Early European colonists learned of this and sent tubers back to Europe, where it became a popular crop and naturalized there. It later gradually fell into obscurity in North America, but attempts to market it commercially have been successful in the late 1900s and early 2000s.

The artichoke contains about 2% protein, no oil, and little starch. It is rich in the carbohydrate inulin (8 to 13%[8]), which is a polymer of the monosaccharide fructose. Tubers stored for any length of time convert their inulin into its component fructose. Jerusalem artichokes have an underlying sweet taste because of the fructose, which is about one and a half times as sweet as sucrose.”

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)

Suddenly, my back’s gave out, and we had a return to the car so I could rest. We continued down third Beach where areas are part of the sanctuary. There were many boats out and came in with people fishing. On the beach, no peeps were seen. There was a moderate size flock of ring-build gulls flying and diving trying to capture baitfish. I set up and settled on a gull who just dove and hoping by following it I could catch it diving. However, the gull just flew on by me, so I did get flight images.

Ring-billed gull flying out of the water
Ring-billed gull flying out of the water
Ring-build gull partially submerged diving after baitfish
Ring-billed gull flying

Even though my back was hurting, it was still great to be out and photographing.

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