Trip around Plymouth County

Great Blue Heron - Ardea herodias
Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias

Yesterday, my friend Doug, my son Aaron and I spent the morning birding and photographing around Plymouth County. We started out just before sunrise, and our first stop was Tamarac Park in Lakeville. Very near the shoreline on Assawompset was a Great Blue Heron. The Heron was standing in the water, and the water illuminated by the golden hour sunlight. While we are observing the Heron, it started opening its beak and shaking its head, looking like it was trying to dislodge, something from its throat.

Great blue heron trying to dislodge something from its throat
Great blue heron trying to dislodge something from its throat

Continuing down to the back of Tamarac Park, overlooking the marsh of theBedford Street Conservation Areas, there was a beautiful reflection of the fall foliage on the water of the marsh, along with mallards.

Foliage reflection in the waters of the Bedford Street conservation area
Foliage reflection in the waters of the Bedford Street conservation area

Next, we visited Great Quittacus Pond, where a pair of greater yellowlegs were feeding. The yellowlegs were not even bothered by our presence. One of the yellowlegs during its feeding cards some grasses and in its beak and spent time shaking its head, trying to dislodge the grasses.

Greater Yellowlegs - Tringa melanoleuca
Greater Yellowlegs – Tringa melanoleuca
Greater Yellowlegs - Tringa melanoleuca
Greater Yellowlegs – Tringa melanoleuca

In the distance. We identified a pair of young Eagles, and as one came soaring aloof long the edge of the pond, we were hoping that it would swing by us so we could obtain a good photograph. But, it flew off into the distance. We crossed over the causeway to overlook Pocksha Pond where we saw a young common loon swimming. Observing photographs in the camera. We first thought that the loon had a fishing lure attached to it, however, utilizing the computer, it appears to be bird banding rings.

The next stop was Oliver Mills Park in Middleborough. Findings included a swamp sparrow that kindly posed on a cattail and a bee rather than gathering pollen from the flowers was resting in the sun on a cattail. A juvenile starling made its presence known. The fall foliage along the Nemasket River was starting to peak, and frost asters were raising their rays to the sun.

European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
European Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
Swamp Sparrow - Melospiza georgiana
Swamp Sparrow – Melospiza georgiana
Bee on a cattail
Bee on a cattail
Frost Aster - Symphyotrichum pilosum
Frost Aster – Symphyotrichum pilosum

Off we went again and traveled to Nelson Park in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Walking and feeding, along the beach, which was at low tide were at least a dozen Black-bellied plovers. Also resting on the beach was a large group of gulls, including ring-bill, herring, and laughing gulls. Gulls kept flying in and leaving.

Black-bellied Plover - Pluvialis squatarola
Black-bellied Plover – Pluvialis squatarola
Ring-billed Gull - Larus delarensis looking over the water for food
Ring-billed Gull – Larus delarensis looking over the water for food
Laughing Gull - Larus atricilla
Laughing Gull – Larus atricilla

A question I have been wondering about is who do the birds use for physical therapy. Over the years I have noticed some one legged birds, and they seem to be able to walk around without any difficulty. One of the laughing gull present on the beach only had a single leg.

Laughing Gull - Larus atricilla with only one Fort
Laughing Gull – Larus atricilla with only one Fort

The final stop was Jenney Pond, where Black-crowned night-herons were present. A juvenile night-heron try to hide among the leaves in a tree. An adult night Heron, however, was found over our heads in a tree. It was not bothered by our presence, though at one point, where I got its picture, I thought it was going to fly. But, it just turned around and stayed.

Black-crowned Night-heron - Nycticorax nycticorax
Black-crowned Night-heron – Nycticorax nycticorax
Black-crowned Night-heron - Nycticorax nycticorax
Black-crowned Night-heron – Nycticorax nycticorax

It was a great morning to be out, and we did see 37 species, but not photograph all of them.