Cold & Windy Birding

Leaving the Airstream in Vermont (as noted in my last post), we got on the road a day early to combine a medical visit to Dartmouth with the trip to Massachusetts and got here Tuesday night.  Then the sleet, rain, and wind hit and our decision felt pretty wise.  Plus, it gave me a chance to bird a bit more — and for both of us to spend more time with the family.

There is quite an irruption of Snowy Owls in the Northeast and several had been reported in the Plum Island/Salisbury area so bright and early Wednesday morning, after walking the dog in the gale, I loaded her up and trekked over to Salisbury State Reservation.  Here’s the beach scene:

The sea was rough with mist in the wind, and few birds flying.  This is the breakwater at Salisbury Beach where Purple Sandpipers hang out at high tide.  Not today.

The sea was rough with mist in the wind, and few birds flying. This is the breakwater at Salisbury Beach where Purple Sandpipers hang out at high tide. Not Tuesday – or Wednesday.

Steven Grinley of Birdwatcher’s Supply in Newburyport had reported a Glaucous Gull and a Laughing Gull in the flocks at the beach parking lot so I spent some time, from the shelter of the truck, sorting and counting gulls.  It reminded me of going through flocks of Canada Geese, one by one, looking for a Cackling Geese or Snow Goose.

Nothin' but us Herring Gulls here, sir!

Nothin’ but us Herring Gulls here, sir!

So, we got a lot of fresh air, sorted through hundreds of gulls for something unique, and decided to try another day for Snowy Owls.

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