As I was walking along Coast Guard Beach the other day, I saw something black swimming on the water, diving in amongst the waves. I thought maybe it was a Black Duck. I got my camera out and clicked away and only got a couple of photos as this bird was floating through the tall waves and diving into the ocean and very hard to see.
When I got home and looked on my computer, I noticed the white “comma” under his eye and knew it was not a Black Duck. To my surprise, it was a White-Winged Scoter which I had never seen before. What a treat!
The White-Winged Scoter is a medium sized duck that is mostly black except for a white eye patch shaped like a comma. It has an orange bill with a black knob and red-orange legs and feet. It dives up to 40 down and feeds primarily on shellfish.
Have you ever seen a White-Winged Scoter?
There is nothing like the sounds of waves on the beach, especially at Coast Guard Beach, part of the National Seashore on Cape Cod. It is one of my favorite beaches on the Cape. This time of the year, you might be the only one walking on the beach. Listening to the waves is both cathartic and medicinal, interspersed with the sound of gulls and other birds.
This day was a beautiful day with sunny skies and beautiful waves… perfect for that walk on the beach.
This was the cutest thing I had seen in a long time… the little Sanderling trying to sneak some of the Seagull’s freshly caught clam. This little Sanderling would scurry about in the sand on Coast Guard Beach, but as soon as the seagull turned away, he would run in for a bite.
How cute is this?
While walking out to Nauset Spit on Coast Guard Beach, Phil and I thought there were many new rocks on the Nauset Beach side. It looked like piles of rocks. I didn’t think that could be, so I went to investigate.
As I got closer I could hear the seals. They were really loud and there were hundreds of them basking in the sun. I had never seen so many there before. No wonder the Great White Sharks love this particular area. There sure is plenty of food!
I was taking a walk out on the flats at low tide near Boat Meadow when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. There were two birds scurrying around the mud, looking for food.
I clicked away and realized when I got home that they were Semipalmated Plovers. They blend in pretty well on the mud flats and the water, don’t you think?
Friday was one of the “10 best days at Coast Guard Beach, part of he National Seashore, on Cape Cod!” It was absolutely spectacular with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s. We couldn’t believe we were walking on the beach without even a jacket on. Unbelievable for November.
The tide was going out so we walked down to Nauset Spit, where Coast Guard Beach is separated from Nauset Beach by an ever-moving channel which leads into Nauset Marsh. It is one of my favorite beach walks. We saw so many different species of birds and lots of seals. With the bird migration in progress, there is so much to look forward to…