One of the benefits of the continuous storm track we have seen on Cape Cod this winter is the incredible “post storm” landscapes that are left once the snow stops and the system’s move up into the Canadian Maritime Provinces. One needs to bundle up but the results are worth it. In particular the magnificent snowy owl has been easier to find and shoot! Check out our latest images here.
The new year greeted us with our first serious Nor’easter of the winter season. Circumstances set us up here on Cape Cod to be near the center of a convergence of several powerful low pressure systems which raced up the eastern coast packed with lots of moisture and collided with a massive arctic blast of frigid air and the result was significant coastal snowfall in often whiteout blizzard conditions with temperatures that plummeted near to zero degrees F. In Chatham we received about 12 – 14 inches and with drifts in the wind some north facing structures got buried. We clocked wind gusts to 56 MPH. Fortunately we did not lose power so the experience was exhilarating around a cozy fire. We worried about the birds and yesterday decided to range further afield to survey the land and wildlife.
Took a day trip to the lower Cape this week – which means if you live in Chatham, as we do, one travels to the north toward the unique and beautiful landscapes of the Cape Cod National Seashore and the sprawling sand spit that is the Provincelands. The deciduous forests here are at their peak in fall foliage color and when one observes these surroundings in the incredible autumn light at this time of year ……well…..see what you think. Also lovely to study the magnificent Northern Harrier hunting rodents amongst our stunning natural environments. Other notable bird life observed were a sharp shinned hawk , 2 pairs of hooded mergansers , several golden crowned kinglets, a ruby crowned kinglet, a blue headed vireo, a black throated blue warbler and a magnificent blue winged teal which was foraging among the cat tails. Note that some of the images are made of the same vistas as lighting conditions changed in the warm late afternoon offering changes in the mood.
All part of the “septober” magic we have been blessed with again this fall on Cape Cod..
We are down to the last few days of our beloved “Septober” season and the changes toward winter have been signaled by the return of waterfowl from the arctic and our shortening days. One beautiful bonus however. We are enjoying the characteristic golden “light” at the beginning and end of each day which highlight the splendor of autumn color here.
October is now half gone and the water temperatures on the Outer Cape are slowly dropping while beautiful sunny skies and autumn colors take over our landscapes on Cape Cod. Keen on observing raptors our patience has finally paid off. A visit to South Monomoy in a light easterly wind conditions has yielded a fine sighting of nature’s fastest predator, the Peregrine Falcon on its regular southerly migration following other migrants. Perfect opportunity to showcase our raptors. Also at South Monomoy in the fresh water ponds we found a number of migrating waterfowl as well. Fantastic birding!
As an intense winter storm bears down on New England we are wondering how our wildlife will fare during the festivities. Hearty they are but still we wonder.
As we have reported on this blog many times, Cape Cod is an important migration stop for many species. In winter the outer Cape in particular is a destination for many waterfowl species which come to feed in our cold waters before they return to the Arctic to breed in the North American summer . As a result we are blessed to have thousands of water birds grace our bays and estuaries until spring. It is pleasure to get out and observe them as well as our resident land birds as they all go about the business of finding food, dodging predators and generally biding their time until spring.
In preparation for the storm we have re-stocked our feeders and will be looking for opportunities to observe and record the experiences as the storm rages here over the next 48 hours.