Shades of Gray

Posted by Jane N on

Hello Everyone,
I know that some of us are old enough to remember the days of black & white TV, yes youngsters there really was a time when there was no such thing as color TV. Well, I feel as if I just had a black & white weekend as if I were in an old TV show. We can call it the Many Adventures of Jane.
Chris had invited her friend Beth and myself to join her in Cape Neddick, Maine. We were hoping to be able to see the Common Night Hawks during their migration. The conditions were the same as last years fantastic sighting, a full moon just after a storm at sea. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, we had strong winds, rain and gray skies. But fortunately, there were those that found safe harbor in the campground cove. We were able to watch a pair of seals feeding in the cove. They looked like gray dogs bobbing in the rough surf. This was the first time I have gotten to see seals in the cove.
The rain simmered down to a cold mist but the winds stayed strong. We were able to see quite a few seabirds that had taken cover in the cove. There was a Great Black-backed Gull walking around the campground dragging one wing, looking for food. Have to wonder if the storm beat him up or if he had a run-in with one of those seals. Hopefully, he will survive the winter. We saw many black, white & gray Herring Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls riding out the storm in the cove. We saw an arctic Red-throated Loon, who spends the winter along the Atlantic coast but is only black & white in his nonbreeding plumage. It was indeed a gray day. About the only shot of color in the cove was one lone Red-breasted Merganser feeding along the shore in the surf.
The rain let up so we decided to head up Mt Aga...something ( I can hardly say the name never mind spelling it, Chris knows the name). There is an observation platform at the top and it is a well-known migration route for hawks heading south for the winter. We were hoping to get to see some hawks, but alas as we climbed the mountain in the car we also climbed into the clouds and mist. It was windy, cold, gray and wet at the top. Not a bird in sight.
It was still early in the day so we decided to take a walk along the trails at Rachel Carson Nature Reserve. The sky was gray but the rain finally stopped thou the wind was still steady and the temperature was cool, not really the best bird watching day. As we walked along I was telling Beth how I had seen almost every warbler that lived in New England except for two. The Cerulean Warbler, which is very rare and may soon be listed as endangered and the Black & White Warbler which is considered one of the most common warblers yet I have spent all summer looking for one. Not 30 seconds later there is a flock of little birds that are above us. It is hard to see any details as they dart in and out of the trees then Beth gets a good look and calls out “Black & White Warblers!” I swear it happened that fast, I finally get to see my elusive warblers and add another species to my list. Thank you, Beth!
So I had a gray weekend in more ways than one. My birding adventures were black & white and shades of gray. Gray has such a negative vibe, represents the unknown or confusion. But that’s how life goes now and then, the storm clouds will part, the sun will come out. So let's all embrace the many shades of gray life has to offer.
Current Big Year Total.....221
Happy Birding, Jane

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