This beautiful male Blackburnian Warbler was a very special life bird #399 for me and my wife this morning. They are very tough to come by on Cape Cod, so we were very lucky to get a glimpse of this little gem. It wasn’t an amazing photo opportunity, but I was still able to snag a pic before he flew away. This bird was definitely on my target list, and I was super happy to check him off, finally!
…My last post was about Wood Ducks being a tough duck to get photos of around here…the other day I saw more Wood Ducks and managed some closer photos…and another pair shot…
Another visit to the same spot today and there were 6 Wood Ducks in the same location…the breeding plumage of the males is spectacular.
I’ve been trying to get photos of all the local male/female duck pairs. Here’s a sample of some of the duck-pair pics I’ve gotten recently. Featured from top left: Red-Breasted Merganser, Canvasback, Lesser Scaup, Ring-Necked Duck, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Hooded Merganser.
I finally got some decent Common Merganser photos including this one of a male taking flight…For a few moments before takeoff, the Common Merganser literally runs on the water.
Yesterday, at South Cape Beach in Mashpee, MA, I found a deceased Barn Owl lying in the marsh. This is an exceptionally rare bird for Cape Cod, so I scooped the specimen up and brought it home to freeze so that it wouldn’t get destroyed.
There have been many Snowy Owls in the area this winter, and I had just finished photographing one nearby, so it would not be surprising to find out that the Barn Owl was a victim of the Snowy. It is a shame for such a rare bird to turn up dead, but it is also exciting to find evidence of one where they were previously undocumented…
The owl was still pretty intact with only one obvious wound in its neck…hopefully when they autopsy this bird they will have some answers as to what caused its demise. The specimen is now wrapped up in my freezer awaiting collection by the curators of the Ornithology Museum at Harvard University.
This is only my second time seeing a Barn Owl…and although this one is dead, it is amazing to see one up close where you can really appreciate the detail in the plumage. A sad story, but a beautiful bird!
A handsome male Greater Scaup – Woods Hole, MA