Friday, September 28, 2012

They must have gone south

Howdee all,

We haven't seen the gazillions of tree swallows on our morning walks in Chatham the past few days.

morning walk birds_004They must have gone south..

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We will be following them in a month or so.

Until then we are here in Chatham for a few more days before we head to Connecticut for a month. After that we begin our journey south for the winter.


In case you missed this cool video of all the Tree Swallows we saw a few weeks ago..

here it is!

I get a bit excited..hee hee

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baby got Blues!

Howdee all,

Yesterday the fellas decided it would be nice to go fishing..

So we packed lunch and headed to Hardings Beach in Chatham.

We stopped when we saw two other fisherman hauling in fish.

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Our fellas set up their poles and started to fish in the same area.

They weren't having any luck and the other fisherman moved on.

We were talking about leaving and heading closer to the lighthouse..


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Behind them the water began to dance..

I yelled for everyone to look..

it was bubbling with fish! ..

A fish boil..

Jeff and Sandy ran to the boil.

fish boil_020They fished …

Two hours of up and down the beach chasing the boils..

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Check out these amazing boils on video!

Sandy's catch

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Jeff continues to fish while Margie photographs Sandy's catch

fish boil_032That glistening water on the left is the boil

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Boys and their Bluefish

fish boil_042It was an awesome day!

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Blue fish pate tomorrow!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tern Island~Birds and Clams

Howdee all,

While visiting Chatham, I always love a trip or two to Tern Island at low tide for some birding.

A short Kayak ride to the flats…

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I don’t have a clamming license so I couldn’t clam..

Others were busy clamming.. 

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Jeff and I went birding hunting..

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Have a look at a few of the birds we saw…

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Plenty of Black-bellied Plover were around

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Semipalmated Sandpiper

tern island birding_082Semipalmated Plover

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More of the Semi fellers

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View to North Beach

Gull Zone with a fly over Corm.

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Gulls in  layers

with some shorebirds here and there…

and seal basking in the sun..See them?

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Gull in the shallows

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Short billed Dowitcher

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Piping Plover and Semipalmated Plover

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A nice birding afternoon..

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While our family was slaving away..

tern island birding_018Digging for dinner

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Monarch Migration~Chatham, Ma

Howdee all,

On our morning walks in Chatham we pass a few butterfly bushes…

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The predominant butterflies are Monarchs

morn walk and swallows_007They are on their way south..


Below text via Monarch Watch

Check out the website for more great information.

When will the migration peak in your area? See Peak Migration Dates

Unlike most other insects in temperate climates, Monarch butterflies cannot survive a long cold winter. Instead, they spend the winter in roosting spots. Monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains travel to small groves of trees along the California coast. Those east of the Rocky Mountains fly farther south to the forests high in the mountains of Mexico. The monarch's migration is driven by seasonal changes. Daylength and temperature changes influence the movement of the Monarch.

Fall Map

In all the world, no butterflies migrate like the Monarchs of North America. They travel much farther than all other tropical butterflies, up to three thousand miles. They are the only butterflies to make such a long, two way migration every year. Amazingly, they fly in masses to the same winter roosts, often to the exact same trees. Their migration is more the type we expect from birds or whales. However, unlike birds and whales, individuals only make the round-trip once. It is their children's grandchildren that return south the following fall.

Some other species of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) travel long distances, but they generally go in one direction only, often following food. This one-way movement is properly called emigration. In tropical lands, butterflies do migrate back and forth as the seasons change. At the beginning of the dry season, the food plants shrivel and the butterflies leave to find a moister climate. When the rains arrive, the food plants grow back and the butterflies return.


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When the late summer and early fall Monarchs emerge from their pupae, or chrysalides, they are biologically and behaviorally different from those emerging in the summer. The shorter days and cooler air of late summer trigger changes. In Minnesota this occurs around the end of August. Even though these butterflies look like summer adults, they won't mate or lay eggs until the following spring. Instead, their small bodies prepare for a strenuous flight. Otherwise solitary animals, they often cluster at night while moving ever southward. If they linger too long, they won't be able to make the journey; because they are cold-blooded, they are unable to fly in cold weather.

Fat, stored in the abdomen, is a critical element of their survival for the winter. This fat not only fuels their flight of one to three thousand miles, but must last until the next spring when they begin the flight back north. As they migrate southwards, Monarchs stop to nectar, and they actually gain weight during the trip! Some researchers think that Monarchs conserve their "fuel" in flight by gliding on air currents as they travel south. This is an area of great interest for researchers; there are many unanswered questions about how these small organisms are able to travel so far.

Another unsolved mystery is how Monarchs find the overwintering sites each year. Somehow they know their way, even though the butterflies returning to Mexico or California each fall are the great-great-grandchildren of the butterflies that left the previous spring. No one knows exactly how their homing system works; it is another of the many unanswered questions in the butterfly world.


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Monarchs east of the Rockies migrate each year to the Transvolcanic mountains of central Mexico. Millions and millions of butterflies from the central and eastern Canadian provinces and the eastern and midwestern United States fly south to Mexico. Their flight pattern is shaped like a cone, as they come together and pass over the state of Texas on their way south. In massive butterfly clouds, they sweep up into the mountain ranges of central Mexico. In 1975 the scientific community finally tracked down the wintering sites of the Monarch in Mexico. Until then, the Monarch butterflies' winter hideouts had been a secret known only to local villagers and landowners.


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Its that time of year!

Watch for Migrating Monarchs

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Tree Swallowssssssssssssss

Howdee all,

While in Chatham the past few days we have noticed quite a few

Tree Swallows when we walk Morris Road.

This Morning there was a huge gathering.

morn walk and swallows_019It was very exciting.

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Check out the video!

See for yourself.

Please bear with my shaking and stick with the video to the end…Smile


No one was pooped on in the filming of this video. Smile

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here we are….

Howdee all,

Here we are…

cape cod_004At the beach..

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Lighthouse Beach, Chatham, Ma.

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Yesterday we walked the beach with family and friends..

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Jeff and I left the ocean side to check the bay for birds…

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There were lots of horseshoe crap carcasses..

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Jeff scanning for birds

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Other than a few Black-bellied Plover and Willet…

We just saw Gulls, Herring, Laughing and Black-backed

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It was a nice mucky walk in the flats

cape cod_027Herring Gull with Scallop..

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We plan on being in this area for most of September..

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Before heading to CT again

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Great Black-backed Gull

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Enough of this blogging…time to go for a bird walk.. :)

Herring Gull…

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