Saturday, September 14, 2013

Plymouth Beach - 9/14/2013

    Eight people made the long trek down to the tip of Plymouth Beach and back again. Skies were partly sunny with a medium NW wind and temperatures in the 60sF, making the nearly 6 mile round-trip comfortable, but tiring. A cold front moved through the area on the night before, but this did not seem to translate into more migrants. If anything, some the birds that may have been around probably cleared out of the area under these favorable conditions.

    A couple of Common Loons were seen on the ocean side of the beach and a Belted Kingfisher was making it's rattling call on the bay side along the Eel River as the group assembled. A Wilson's Snipe put in a brief appearance as it flew over as we started down the beach.
    Shorebird diversity is past it's peak in mid-September, but there were still hundreds of Sanderlings and Black-bellied Plovers along the outer half the beach on a falling tide. A Peregrine Falcon was moving hard and fast down the beach and spooked all of the shorebirds and many of the gulls. Somewhat surprising was the lack of any terns among the large flocks of gulls scattered along the beach. Terns generally disperse to staging areas along Cape Cod during this time period, but their complete absence was noteworthy.
    As we rounded our way around the tip of the beach, we scoped a couple of Ruddy Turnstones out on the rocks near the lighthouse. The return trip down the bay side of the beach was quiet, but that all changed as one of our sharp-eyed observers picked out another Peregrine Falcon perched along the wrack line. We had fantastic views of this young bird, a real "show stopper"!

Peregrine Falcon

    As the Peregrine took flight and headed down the beach we could see the carcass of a marine mammal the had washed up on the rocks. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be some species of dolphin. I would be interested to hear people's thoughts as to what specie this is.

The remainder of the walk back to the parking area was uneventful as the tide had gone out and dispersed the shorebirds. Sometimes the last leg of the journey can seem especially long!

41 species

Mute Swan  2
American Black Duck  6
Mallard  2
Common Loon  2
Double-crested Cormorant  200
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  8
Osprey  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Black-bellied Plover  300
Semipalmated Plover  85
Greater Yellowlegs  20
Willet  2    
Ruddy Turnstone  2
Sanderling  500
Semipalmated Sandpiper  30
Semipalmated Sandpipers
Short-billed Dowitcher  5
Wilson's Snipe  1    Flyover
Laughing Gull  35
Ring-billed Gull  100
Herring Gull (American)  300    
Great Black-backed Gull  75
Mourning Dove  6
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Belted Kingfisher  2
Downy Woodpecker  1
Peregrine Falcon  2
Blue Jay  1
American Crow  11
Black-capped Chickadee  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Carolina Wren  1
Gray Catbird  4
Northern Mockingbird  4
European Starling  25
Song Sparrow  12
Northern Cardinal  1
Common Grackle  1
House Finch  5
American Goldfinch  6
House Sparrow  9

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Vin Zollo

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