I'm an avid birder and nature photographer wishing to share some of my sightings & images taken while out in the "wilds" of Cape Ann and surrounding New England countryside. More images can be found on my web site at New England Birds Plus Enjoy, Phil Brown

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Recent Sightings - March 10, 2011

A few images from the past week or two that I haven't managed to post before now. The first few shots will look familiar to recent blog visitors. The young Cooper's Hawk has made several appearances, leaving piles of feathers here and there. He sat on one of the nest boxes in the backyard for a few shots on the 5th and I managed to catch him blinking, seen below, showing his nictitating membrane or second eyelid. The next shot, taken a few seconds later has his eyes wide open.

Another visitor throughout the year, with a high count of 10 after one of the many January snow storms, is this lovely female Northern Cardinal. She's a much more cooperative subject than her bright red mate that flees in an instant at the 1st sign of an intruder. It must be tough being that colorful in a world where others will happily devour you if they can catch you!

A sure sign of spring! Maple sugaring at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary is well under way.

A trip to Lawrence to visit with the Fish Crows that hang out at the boat ramp along the Merrimack River just before the dam found several that came in to a bit of seed with their larger cousins the American Crow. The Fish Crow is on the left keeping a safe distance from the gang.

A stop at Salisbury Beach State Reservation found an adult Iceland Gull hanging around the parking lot. It won't be long before these winter visitors depart for the breeding grounds.

and lastly an odd pair of Ducks that are hanging around Wonson Cove in Gloucester. The male is an obvious Mallard but the female appears to be part Mallard, Black Duck and..... domestic? Who knows for sure but she's pretty cool looking!