Jul 152014
 

in the muck (Collared Plover on Plum Island)

Collared Plover Hanging out on Plum Island

Summer trip to Plum Island, Massachusetts. Piping Plovers, a rare species protected under the federal and Massachusetts Endangered Species Acts, nest in the dunes and upper beaches on Plum Island, but are not accessible at this time of the year.  All dune and beach areas with (eggs or) hatchlings are protected with fencing and are strictly off-limits. But it was easy to get fairly close to some adult Collared Plovers (not endangered) away from the beach, as seen by these few shots.
above the muck (on Plum Island)

Jan 242014
 

sitting pretty (Snowy Owl)_final

Sitting Pretty (Snowy Owl)

Went for a walk on Salisbury Beach State Reservation and Plum Island, Massachusetts over the MLK Holiday weekend looking for Snowy Owls and . . .  I saw four different ones (!), plus a Merlin Falcon (photo here).  A beautiful, brisk, blustery winter day on the salt marshes and near the beach.  The above photo of a Snowy Owl sitting on a salt marsh was the last photo of the day, shot as the sun was getting lower in the late afternoon, winter sky.  I love it when one of your favorites photos from an outing is your last shot . . . and one you didn’t expect. The full set may be seen here, on Flickr.

I was also happy with several other photos of the salt marsh and dune landscape on Plum Island and Salisbury Beach (including the two framing folks also out nature hiking or birding):

step into a worldStep Into a World

top of the duneTop of the Dune

Winter DuneWindswept, Snow Dusted Dune

A few more Snowy Owl shots (click for larger image).  Reports have it that one owl has been reliably perching atop the Pink House on Plum Island most days this winter. Good news for the Bob Lobster Shack, open year round just a few blocks away. I’ve also included a couple of shots of a Snowy Owl on a salt marsh in Salisbury: One in-flight, one just before taking off, and one nearly camouflaged.

Snowy Owl perched atop the Pink House on Plum Islandgetting ready to fly awayPerched (Snowy Owl)gonna fly nownestled (Snowy Owl)

And finally, a couple of bleak, but beautiful, black and white landscapes from Plum Island, featuring some storage sheds, blowing snow and the sun dramatically poking through the clouds.

cast

bleak trio (with blowing snow)