Our travels started with a family gathering in Cape May two Saturdays ago. After dinner in the evening, we went for a walk at the Nature Conservancy, only to be chased back to the car by dark clouds and ominous rumblings. The downpour ended as soon as we returned to our room, so we returned to the Nature Conservancy for an evening sunset walk - that time when the sun is low and the light so wonderful.
In the protected nesting area, Least Terns were getting their act underway. This male was demonstrating his suitability by bringing supper to his mate. Some were already on the nest, a tiny hollowed-out depression in the sand. The terns did not like our presence and often we were threatened, screamed at, dove upon, and nearly raked by beaks. We retreated.
The highlight was the American Oystercatchers feeding their young, and generally carrying on all along the shore and dunes.
We heard one Least Bittern calling from the reeds, and watched several Great Egrets stalking in the evening sun.
The sunset was gorgeous. It was also the last sunlight we saw for the next six days.
Twilight on the Martin House.
A Photographic Note: I came back with over 800 photos; it takes time just to go through that many photos, dumping the trash (there was a lot) and then editing what remains. In Northern Maine I met Stan Buman, a wildlife and nature photographer from Iowa. He told me that on the Gaspe Peninsula he visited a gannet colony and took over 6000 photos. Processing all of those is mind-boggling, but judging by the photos on his website, he ends up with stunning photos. I’ve put a link to his website under “A Few Other (Mostly) Bird Sites.” I’ve also added a link to “Bird Photography by Hilke Breder,” a local Vermont birder and photographer.