It was a glorious day to take a walk at Nauset Beach in Orleans on Cape Cod with warm temperatures and gusty winds. I walked quite a ways down the beach in a direction that I don’t usually go. It was so pretty.
On the way back I noticed what I thought was some foam from the waves, but it looked too uniform. As I got closer I realized that it was 8 little white and grey birds all huddled together. They moved in unison. If one hopped to the right, they all hopped to the right. They were just adorable.
I stopped and clicked away, wondering what they were. When I got home I looked them up in my Sibley Bird Book and saw that they are adult nonbreeding Sanderlings. Sanderlings are small, plump sandpipers with a stout bill about the same length as the head. Their black legs blur as they run back and forth on the beach, picking or probing for tiny prey in the wet sand left by receding waves.
Sanderlings are extreme long-distance migrants that breed only on High Arctic tundra, but during the winter they live on the beaches around the world.
I had never seen a Sanderling before, have you?
The lighting was just perfect as this Swan was silhouetted against the dark, sparkly water of Meetinghouse Pond in Orleans on Cape Cod. It was just gorgeous!
We have seen a lot of Swans in the pond in the past few weeks. They are so regal as they swim about.
Pretty photograph, don’t you think?
I have never seen so many Robins in the middle of winter getting a drink from the snow on our deck in Orleans on Cape Cod. They were everywhere.
I loved this little guy on the picnic table getting a little drink from the new-fallen snow. Along the railing, many more robins were lined up also enjoying the snow. I was taking photographs through the window, so they did not come out clear enough to post.
I have never seen a bird come up on the deck to eat some snow, have you?
This beautiful Red-tailed Hawk, which is probably the most common hawk in North Americ,a was sitting patiently up in this tree by Boat River in Eastham on Cape Cod, eyeing everything in sight.
Red-tailed Hawks soar above open fields, slowly turning circles on their broad, rounded wings. Other times you’ll see them atop telephone poles, eyes fixed on the ground to catch the movements of a vole or a rabbit, or simply waiting out cold weather before climbing a thermal updraft into the sky.
They are such a beautiful bird…
The last time I saw a Bufflehead was way out in the ocean off of Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod many, many years ago. I always loved their black and white coloring and their little diving antics. They are a small, compact duck with a relatively large head.
Male Buffleheads are striking black and white, with iridescent green and purple heads with a large white patch behind the eye. Females are grey-toned with a smaller white patch behind the eye and a light underside.
The name bufflehead is a combination of buffalo and head, referring to the oddly bulbous head shape of the species. This is most noticeable when the male puffs out the feathers on the head, thus greatly increasing the apparent size of the head.
It was such a treat to see these diving ducks so close on the river near my home and so many of them together.
Have you ever seen a Bufflehead?