Thursday, July 29, 2010

Plum Island continued: Eastern Towhees, Purple Martins and more

Continuing with my visit to Plum Island Part III:
---So I broke for lunch, settled myself on a bench on the Sandy Point boardwalk and unwrapped a sandwich I had brought from home. Soon however  I stopped eating, mesmerized by an Eastern Towhee singing in the tree just above my head.

Eastern Towhee

Spectrogram and wave form show repeated complexes consisting of introductory note, a trill of 3 to 4 syllables and ending in a buzzy trill

I never managed to get a good look at the bird - it remained hidden the foliage, but driving back to the exit I saw an Eastern Towhee sitting on a small juniper tree by the side of the road.

Eastern Towhee

Further along the road, a Great Egret was hunting, leaning forward, stretching its neck longer and longer until it suddenly pounced on a prey in the grass. By the time I was able to get a shot, whatever it had swallowed was already half way down its gullet.

Great Egret

An Osprey was flying over the salt marsh.


I stopped at Ocean #1 to check out the Purple Martins. 

Purple Martin House

Purple Martin Adults

Detail: Adult Purple Martin

A very curious chick

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment if you like.


  1. ...very cool. I loved listening to your recording! The martins are adorable. In the previous post, the Least Tern was just beautiful, and oh my gosh......the Piping Plover chicks!!!! Adorable.... I had a lot of catching up to do! Sounds like Plum Island is just a must. I hope to get there some day.

  2. What a fabulous day you had and some great photos. My favorite is the hunting Egret, very intense and natural.

  3. Nice post. Loved the towhee recording. I've got to start getting some recordings for my blog.

  4. Plum Island is such a great spot. Looks like it was a fun day! The towhee recording is fantastic. They're one of the birds I had heard all my life and only recently matched up with the bird.

  5. Marvelous Towhee shot. It's hard to get a clear shot of them like that one. I'm envious. What are you using for recording equipment?

  6. Thanks for your comments, Kelly, Harold, Elijah, Birding Girl and Robin.

    Yes, Plum Island is a birding hot spot at almost any time of the year for shorebirds, migrant warblers, Snowy Owl... I find recording bird songs really adds to the birding experience. I use a pocket recorder, the Olympus LS 10, with two built in mics. You don't need external mics. It's small, so you forget you have it with you until you need it. I edit my recordings with the free Audacity sound editor. The beta version has a great noise removal tool to minimize background traffic noises etc.


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