Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hermit Island and Head Beach

First, some old business: Lifer Greater White-fronted Goose! Saw this one a couple of weeks ago:

Look behind the Canada in the middle!
There he is!
I know, I know, it doesn't look like anything! But he's back there, I promise!

Nearby, I found this immature Bald Eagle -- and he has bands on both legs!
My first-ever banded bird! I can't read the bands, but it was cool to see.

Now -- to today. This morning, I went to a new spot: Head Beach near Hermit Island. It's a few fingers of land over on the coastline. What a great place!
There's a nice sandy beach, and then big rocks up on one side. I'm standing on one taking this picture.

Here, I'm standing in the dunes looking out onto the ocean:
 I saw a VERY pale sparrow on the beach:

He fits exactly Peterson's description of an Ipswich Sparrow, now a subspecies of Savannah Sparrow: "Ocean dunes; like large pale Savannah." That's exactly where he was and what he looked like. No longer its own species, but still nice to see -- he was beautiful with his light streaking and overall paleness.

Complete list of birds seen:
Common Eider  100
White-winged Scoter  4
Black Scoter  4
Common Merganser  3
Red-breasted Merganser  8
Ruddy Duck  4
Horned Grebe  7
Red-necked Grebe  2
Double-crested Cormorant  2
Great Cormorant  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Black-bellied Plover  2
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Ring-billed Gull  19
Herring Gull  6
Great Black-backed Gull  1
American Crow  1
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  9
Savannah Sparrow (Ipswich)  1
Song Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  1

The sand, as the tide went out, proved to be not only beige but black:
And the black had bits of quartz or mica in it and the bits shone like diamonds in the sunlight. Here's a video:
I did see a couple of Red-necked Grebes, frolicking among the waves along with Red-breasted Mergansers and Common Eiders, but they were too far away to get a photo. Luckily, a guy on the beach who was also birding confirmed my ID -- lifer! I now have every grebe except Clark's, but I'll have to go out west again for that one.

A beautiful sunny, crisp day at the beach! Finally, I leave you with a picture of some Moon Snails!
Note that each of those white boxes with maroon lines is two inches x two inches. The snails were bigger than my fist! That little tiny dark circle is a small snail about 3/4" big. The others are HUGE.


Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

You are made of awesome.

dguzman said...

Oh, Monkey, you too!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Those moon snails - broiled or roasted?