A Most Wonderful Day

Our Tuesday morning birding led to a most beautiful day. Weatherwise, we were in the donut hole between rain. The skies were brightly overcast, the temperature in the 40s, and with a minimum amount the wind it was comfortable. At a few points, the sun even tries to break through.

Sun trying to break through the clouds

We started the day at Peter Oliver Colonial Mill, Middleborough, Mass. driving into the parking lot, we noticed the first “first of the year” species. There was a red-breasted hawk sitting on a wire, which was very tolerant of our present and allowed some images. The bird then flew to a distant telephone pole and disappeared until we were almost ready to leave, where we sighted it on a different telephone pole as it flew off while I was taking images. Review of the picture showed that it was carrying a vole in its talons.

Red-shouldered Hawk – Buteo lineatus
Red-shoulder talk

The water level in the Nemasket River was still high and was allowing the Herring to make their way up much easier than when the level is much lower.

Water flowing over the dam
Rushing water

The next stop was Jenny pond in Plymouth where a pair of Canada geese were worth checking out the site with the mute swans had initially set up their nest. Further down on the far side of the pond, the mute swans had set up a new nest.

Canada geese checking out a site for a nest
Mute Swan on the new nest
Mute Swan

Traveling down to the boat launch ramp at Plymouth Harbor, captured a common loon feeding on a crab.

Common loon with a crab

My compadre Doug notice long-tailed ducks on the right further down in the harbor at the location the new dock. We moved to the area and found some of the ducks, both male, and females and many having different plumage. By leaning on a metal box on the dark, cutting down on our silhouette, we did not scare the ducks and they swam up to within 10 feet of our location. We also found FOY laughing gulls sitting on a post and making a significant racket.

Laughing Gulls
Long-tailed Duck – Clangula hyemalis
Long-tailed Duck – Clangula hyemalis
Long-tailed Duck – Clangula hyemalis
Long-tailed Duck – Clangula hyemalis
Long-tailed Duck – Clangula hyemalis

Moving on, Nelson Beach was our next stop, where we had the FOY Osprey and piping plovers.

Piping plover

The Osprey was sitting on their nest and a third osprey came flying in trying to take over from the maile

Osprey attack


Continuing to Plymouth Long Beach, where we did not see any unusual species. But, noticed all destruction from the nor’easter’s

Manomet Point is still closed to everyone but the residents.

We finished the morning at the marshes at Ellisville State Park, where we found two more FOY species, great and snowy egrets.

At this point, the weather was changing, it was spitting rain, and as we traveled to home, we even got a small number of snow showers.