The sandbar off of Coast Guard Beach, part of the National Seashore in Eastham, was filled with Arctic Terns. They would stand there for a bit and then all fly off and then all fly back again. I’d never seen so many congregate in one space like that. It was pretty cool. Maybe they were migrating from the Arctic on their way to points further south.
Arctic Terns are grey and white with a black head and a red bill and short red legs and feet. They are very distinct looking.
The trail along the Salt Pond by the National Seashore Visitor’s Center in Eastham was so pretty this fall day. You never know what you might see. The sun was shining brightly on Nauset Marsh. We even saw a few Cabbage White butterflies still flying about.
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.
It was a perfect day for a drive to Pleasant Bay in Orleans, after a couple of good hikes out there, to see if there were any good photo-ops. There were plenty!
I loved the grass in the foreground with the boat on the water and the blue, blue sky. Aren’t the clouds spectacular?
I have never see so many berries on the Juniper trees as I have this fall. The birds will be very happy this winter… and maybe a wee bit tipsy!
These Juniper trees were on the Goose Pond Trail at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Have you ever seen so much fruit on a Juniper tree?