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Provincetown - A Birder's Dream

Posted on May 25, 2015 at 9:10 PM

Sorry for the break in posts - I have been kept busy with school recently. Of course, that doesn't mean I've dropped the camera. In fact, I have taken several trips in the past few weeks. Perhaps the most notable is my trip to Ptown on Cape Cod, where a birder's dream can come true.

If Cape Cod is a showy arm, Provincetown (known affectionately as Ptown) is the hand and fingers. It is the final spit of land that curls toward the Massachusetts mainland, jutting out into the Atlantic. Many seabirds fly past the beaches as if they were far out to sea (which they are). Others come to nest along the sunbathed shore. Thousands of songbirds pass along its furnished woodland, stopping for a brief snack before continuing over open ocean to their northern breeding grounds. It is beautiful. It is peaceful. But who cares? It's birdy.


Beech Forest is one of the Cape's finest songbird attractions. Complete with ponds, marsh, and dense woods, it provides a perfect stopover for many species of warbler and similar small birds. After being there for around 2 hours, my father and I had seen almost 60 species.

A gorgeous male Black-and-white Warbler provided intimate views at the parking lot entrance.


A Blue-headed Vireo posed nicely on this sweet perch.


The chickadees were everywhere, and had been tamed by people feeding them seeds. They proved amazingly cooperative.


Not to be outdone, the titmice followed close behind, often looking straight at me as if to demand a photo be taken!


A fleeting glimpse of a Red-eyed Vireo gave just enough time for a photo.


A single White-breasted Nuthatch came in very close, allowing me to capture this quintessential pose.

A male Eastern Towhee gave fantastic views while foraging along the ground. He was the most cooperative towhee I've ever seen.



Heading on to Race Point and Race Point Beach proved to be perhaps the most successful location of the day, as we saw thousands upon thousands of terns and gulls, as well as a few rarer birds such as jaegers and kittiwakes.


Laughing Gulls were relatively abundant, and I had a great time with them.



Ring-billed Gulls were also extremely common, and they afforded me some very closeup views.



Common Terns were by far the most, well, common, but Arctic, Least, and Roseate were also present. Here are some Common, Arctic, Least, and Roseate Terns, respectively. (Note the red bill on Common and Arctic, the yellow bill on Least, and the black bill on Roseate.)


This trip was a blast for me, both for the birds and photos, and for the time spent with my father. We'll definitely be doing it next year.



Now I'll sign off with one of my favorite images from the trip - a flock of cormorants roosting on wires in the late evening.





All images and text subject to copyright by D. Walters 2015. Reproduction without my permission is forbidden. Thank you.

Categories: birds, photography

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2 Comments

Reply Andy Eckerson
4:12 PM on June 19, 2015 
Great post Davey! I defiantly agree with you that Ptown is a birders paradise to the max.
Reply Gayles Alldridge
9:32 AM on June 22, 2015 
Hey friend, just wanted to say how much I've been enjoying your site. Particularly tho this last picture of the flock of cormorants is stunning...awesome silhouette! Great work!