“A Week in Provincetown”

To paraphrase Peter Mayle.

Katherine and I were invited by her Uncle Bob to visit him in Provincetown for a week. We quickly accepted. It was only after we’d purchased our plan tickets that we found out about the Provincetown July 4th COVID-19 outbreak. We determined to spend as little time indoors as possible and to wear masks (I bought N95s for this trip) when we needed to go inside any building (ordering food, etc.).

One of the first things Katherine and I did was to hike the Provincetown Causeway–after first checking the tide charts! This is not a high tide activity. The Causeway is much more treacherous when the rocks get wet.

We saw many birds, some of which I hadn’t ID’d before. It was early-ish in the morning so most of the birds were looking for breakfast.

Common Tern in flight with meal.
A Ruddy Turnstone (new bird ID) blends into the landscape.
Great Blue Heron (Misidentified as an “emu” by an annoying and badly-parented child who tried to scare the heron).

Pretty much the coolest thing we saw on the causeway was the gulls dropping clams onto the causeway or the stony beaches to break them. Is that considered tool-using?

(Click on an image below to see a larger photo.)

Oh, and the gulls that weren’t eating clams were dining on crab.

Fresh catch of the day.
Breakfast of gulls

On our way back, Katherine and I saw an incontinence of Yellowlegs.

Incontinence?

Yup. According to Utah Birds, a group of Yellowlegs is an incontinence.

I looked further and saw that On The Wing Photography also mentioned that a group of Yellowlegs is called an “incontinence.” However, Mia McPherson, the photographer for On the Wing, is Utah-based so she may have gotten her information from Utah Birds.

Whatever the case, an incontinence of Yellowlegs is my new favorite bird group name.

Yellowlegs, both Lesser and Greater, were a new bird identification for me. The differences between the two are small: the Lesser is smaller than the Greater Yellowlegs (hence the name) and the bill of the Greater is slightly upturned.

Yellowlegs (Lesser, I think) hunting for fish. You can see the ripples of the water as the fish swim away ahead of this trio.
Yellowlegs fishing in the shallow end of the pool.
Is it just me or do their legs bend backward at the “knee” ??
This may be a Greater Yellowlegs or it might be a Lesser Yellowlegs. Note his footprint in the sand.

Oh, and speaking of incontinence…

Double-crested Cormorant poops in front of disapproving neighbor.

In my next post, I’ll share some of the new bird identifications from our Provincetown trip.

Photo credit for the picture of the Causeway at the beginning of the post goes to Katherine. 😀

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