The Bird Population Doesn’t Disappoint — pat morss

Recent activity on daily walks. Our family of 9 turkeys appears to have finally broken up for mating.

A Song Sparrow lives up to its name
Half a squirrel is better than no squirrel
Throw it around
You have something for me?
Lunch at Niles Pond
Thank you
She’s avoiding me. Or is she my sister?
The local clans are mixing; this female is on the Audubon rocks
And this male is in a mating mood
Two males discussing the new neighborhood; wing stretch

Easter Sunday Dinner is for the Birds — pat morss

Our neighbors are celebrating with special menus – at the feeders, and on Niles Pond.

APPETIZER: Gourmet Nyger Seeds
ENTREE: Shelled Sunflower Chips
DESSERT: High Energy Suet Cake
Flaps deployed for the pluck
Landing gear forward and locked
Touchdown on target
Delicious day-old Tonno bread
Didn’t even get my wings wet

More Courtship on Niles Pond — pat morss

We got to watch some of the action before the Northeast Storm hit yestarday afternoon.

The Bufflehead guys weren’t having much success with this female
Merganser – maybe I’ll sneak up on her
Nice choreography, but no interest
A couple of Mallards trying different approaches
In any case, don’t make the women mad
Or this will happen
This Mallard has her attention
Perfect execution
Looks like it worked
The birds and the bees are everywhere

Mostly Feathers and Fur — pat morss

But, a few other photos first.

Servicing Eastern Point nun buoy “N4”
Heading out on a calm spring morning
Easter ornaments replace Christmas on Fort Hill Ave
Beauport Museum chimneys
Last “ice flower” dipping in Niles Pond
Lonely Canada Goose
Mallard pair and Merganser sharing rocks
Merganser races
Grackles fighting for feeder rights
Deer were eating our azaleas; Anne-Lise used the air horn
Is it safe to return?
Turkeys are following the same evening routine
Not too graceful
At least they don’t eat the bushes and flowers
Final strut to the trees

Late Winter at Halibut Point — pat morss

Last weekend we had a beautiful and uncrowded visit to Halibut Point.

Quarry and Ipswich Bay
State Park Visitor Center at quarry
Clear day – Mt Agamenticus, ME (81 miles) and Isles of Shoals
Rocks to themselves
Resident Harlequin Ducks
View from on top of the quarry tailings; note the “maze” at center
Taking a breather at the maze
The Inuit People build “Inukshuks” like this as navigational markers
Guess who’s coming to dinner

Hint of Spring — pat morss

We are seeing hints of spring on our daily walks, and also took a ride over to Lanes Cove.

Receding ice on Niles Pond
Mallard pair
Canada Goose pair
Golden sunset light on the evening turkey trek to the trees
Bees descending on the early crocuses
Pollination in progress
Lanes Cove waiting for action
Saved and restored Lanes Cove Fish Shack
Lobster trap lobsters

Miscellaneous — pat morss

Some odds and ends from our walks from home during the last week-plus.

Cooper’s Hawk we unexpectedly scared out of the bushes when walking by
Riviera? Actually, a nice Beauport Hotel overnight getaway
Corner bedroom view for the next St Peter’s Fiesta
Newly cut tree
The deer precede the turkey march in the driveway most evenings
Remaining ice at Niles Pond, like candle drip shields
Do you think they’ll see we’re trespassing?
Crow caucus
The humans are feeding at Niles Pond (not us)
Some of the 18 seals hauled out at Brace Cove yesterday

Windy day after traps hauled–pat morss

Gloucester lobster boats came in over the weekend loaded down with their traps, to beat the March 1st temporary moratoriaum during the Right Whale migration.

NW gusts to 60 knots, creating a turquoise Gloucester Harbor
Freezing spray on the Eastern Point side
The lobster fleet is in for the Right Whale moratorium
Store them wherever you can
Just a portion of the East Gloucester sea of traps
Female House Sparrow surveys a new food source
Males have found a bounty in the trap lines
The fishing fleet isn’t affected – Capt. Joe headed out into the fog

Winter Weekend – pat morss

Another pretty winter weekend on the coast

Winter sky
Just enough new snow to cross-country ski, out the door
Baird/Hart house looking cozy
Challenging on skiis
Rock marshmallows
Brace Cove peeking through
Someone else enjoying winter conditions
Commuting to work after breakfast
Cold feet
Uphill Giant Slalom
Easy hovering for a Red-tail Hawk in a 30-knot wind

Ten Days of Winter –pat morss

As we await the next storm, a few outdoor encounters over the last week and a half.

Cooper’s Hawk keeping an eye on the feeder
Less snow than predicted
Trimmed trees
Headed for the trees every evening
Wait for me
Breakfast
Large flocks of winter Robins
Berries are plentiful
Sunset return
Evening parade to the trees
Been a rough day
Dusk on Niles Pond
Best of the limited ice this winter

Anne-Lise’s Sweaters — pat morss

Anne-Lise, my wife, just pulled out a ski sweater she knitted a few years back, which gives me a good opportunity to showcase her Norwegian knitting expertise. This sweater, designed in 2000, celebrates the Millennium and was worn by Norway’s ski team in the 2000 World Championships.  The medallions around the top depict the last 1000 years of Norwegian history, culture, and natural beauty, which are bookended by a symbol of King Olav den Hillige, who Christianized Norway in AD 1000 at the end of the Viking era, and a traditional 8-leaf rose symbolizing King Olav V, when the royal family was forced into temporary exile during WWII.

Front of Millennium ski sweater
Back of Millennium ski sweater
Inside, showing how to carry multiple yarn colors to prduce the design on other side
Explanation of the medallions depicting Norwegian history
A portion of the knitting instructions
Our daughter Christina, modelling her new sweater (and pants) in 1983
Anne-Lise happily knitting on a Hurtigruten ferry on the Norwegin west coast in 1995

Turkey Surprise — pat morss

I was outside Saturday at sunset waiting for our turkeys to fly up into the trees for the night. They were a bit late, so I walked up the driveway and didn’t see them. Coming back down, the first hopped up from behind our neighbor’s fence, and we were equally surprised. Then 2, 3, 4 were on the fence. Apprensive of me, they didn’t drop down to walk across the driveway as usual – they flew one at a time directly from the fence into the trees. By now the other 5 knew something was up, and they flew straight from behind the fence.

Last evening the group faced a different challenge, and caucused in the snow storm discussing the best flight path. They walked back up the driveway, presumably to fly in from the plowed road.

Busy Weekend — pat morss

As a Northeast Storm is beginning, we have just come off a busy weekend of waves, wildlife and mystery. The waves were swells parading in with beautiful sunlight. The birds and animals followed their near-regular routines. And unusual things were going on at Niles Pond.

Perfect chorus-line choreography
A bit more assertive
Loners, with Boston in the background
Sunset
Setting behind the lighthouse predicts Spring (beat Groundhog Day)
Cold Sunday sunrise with sea fog
And emerald waves
Still feisty at the feeder
Chickadee with a determined look
Niles Pond ice formation, like movement of tectonic plates
Severely damaged iceboat frozen in the pond (sail at left, hull at right)
Deer surprised by the evening march of our turkeys to the trees
Curiosity got the best of them
A few more nibbles before bed

Past Week Potpourri — pat morss

A few happenings during the last week:

Photographing waves from the Audubon rocks
Surf around Brace Rock
US Coast Guard exercises
And on another day
Coming by for evening nibbles
Bottoms up on Niles Pond
Mallard wearing a wedding band
We lost baseball “Great” Hank Aaron, but our Hank Heron is just fine
Presidential Inauguration Day
Ice reforming on a choppy Niles Pond today
Under the watchful eye of a fluffed-up crow
And, of course, another sunset

Odd Couples; and Turkey Obstacle Course — pat morss

Two odd couples among our wildlife friends. Also, our family of 10 turkeys now has an evening obstacle course through our neighbor’s yard, scaling the fence, flying down into our driveway, and then up into the trees to roost for the night.

Friends on Niles Pond (Bufflehead and Merganser)
More friends. Here’s “Lookin’ at ya.”
Salt spray sunset before the Turkey parade
Over the fence, a couple at a time
And down onto the driveway
Then, the triple-jump
Next
Bringing up the rear
Crossing the driveway
Into the woods
Finally, up into the trees for the night

Turkey Mystery — pat morss

On Sunday our family of ten turkeys flew into the trees during the middle of the day (never seen that before). Some relocated to the coastal rocks in the afternoon (never seen that before). Maybe the two Red Foxes, first in the driveway and then down on the rocks, had something to do with this odd behaviour?

And if anyone is wondering where their Mallards went, check out Niles Pond.

Turkey Tree — pat morss

A couple of evenings ago, while taking in Christmas lights, a turkey flew off our roof and went careening into the tree brances across the driveway. Last evening we saw at least 4 (probably from our family of ten) roosting in the trees. But first, a New Year’s hello from several of our friends on Niles Pond.

Great Blue Heron
Red-breasted Merganser
Ring-billed Gull
First landing spot
Prep to relocate
Select next target
Launch
Superior navigation skills