Mystery mammal, Ruddy Turnstone, Surf Scoter and more

It was a nice June morning on Gooseberry. Surprising in that it had been foggy up at the Westport Middle School where we flew RC airplanes, yet as we went south towards the ocean it got clearer and it was perfectly clear at Gooseberry.

Of course the first thing that caught my eye wasn’t clear at all. I didn’t know if it was  a submerged rock, a seal, or some other marine mammal. (Click any image below to get a much larger version of it.)

Turned out to be a pair of “some other” marine mammals – homo snorkelus I believe. 😉

Then we saw very little until we were well past East Point and Don said he had heard some quite noisy bird up the beach and two flew out and were away so fast I could hardly snap a picture. What I got – see below) isn’t definitive, but the markings sur elook like Willets to me – note the dark patches  about halfway down the wing and at the tip, plus the white rump – and the size seemed right.  Wondered if they might be a nesting pair.

I had hoped to see more of the familiar fall birds, decked out in their breeding finery. One I have been anticipating is the Ruddy Turnstone and one – just one – has shown up when I’ve been there. Here he is. Quite handsome!

Last week we had seen quite a flock of Black and White-winged Scoter off the southwest point.  They were there again this week. The ones with the bright orange bills are adult males.

But hanging back with his own little group was a very different one. I suspected it was the third of the Scoter family, but I couldn’t remember its name. Well, it’s a Surf Scoter, as I learned when I checked Sibley. Also learned that the real differences between the three Scoters show up in their bills and where bill meets face.

I think that’s a White-winged female or juvenile in this group.

And, of course, there were the “usual suspects” – the cormorants and the Eiders in one stage or another of feather.

And as we were leaving this area a lone Osprey glided  by, checking out the scene below. Guess we’re on his “Life List” now. 😉

This entry was posted in people, sea birds, shorebirds, Uncategorized, weather events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Mystery mammal, Ruddy Turnstone, Surf Scoter and more

  1. Michelle Lavigne says:

    Thanks for the pictures. Love this place so much

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