Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cape Cod - Roseate Terns

Race Point dunes
Continuing my post from this morning, I made it to Race Point Beach at the very tip of the Cape by afternoon. It was hot, the sand so hot that you couldn't walk barefoot on it; even hot for this Greater Black-backed Gull who was cooling off by keeping its beak open:

greater black-backed gull
Whereas Brattleboro was under a cloud of thunderstorms, here at the beach people were having a good time.

Race Point Beach
Small flocks of terns were flying parallel to the shore, so fast, and hard to catch a decent photo - in fact I had to discard about 90% of my photos. On closer inspection at home I verfied that most of them were Common Terns,(See correction below. On this photo only the bird on the lower right is a Common Tern; the others are Roseates}

Common Terns

But there were a couple of Roseate Terns - juveniles:

juvenile Roseate Tern

At Race Point I also bought a map and the Mass Audubon publication "Birding Cape Cod" to help me plan for Saturday. Exhausted and exhilarated I drove to Hyannis where I had made a reservation at a motel, and after a supper of a box of graham crackers brought from home and two ice-cold Pepsis out of the machine, I fell into bed to get up at 4 AM the following morning.

8/30/09 Correction: After checking with some experts it turns out that most of the terns that I saw were adult and juvenile Roseates:


  1. Wonderful photos of the roseate - congrats!

  2. Thanks, Chris. It's pure luck, of course, because the terns are flying by too fast to see any details. I can't actually say I SAW them, I only saw them on the photos....


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