It’s not a surprise party, but it is limited in size. Invitations will go out in April. Mass Audubon is hosting a special retirement tribute for Chris Leahy in celebration of his remarkable career –45 years of “impact and success”. How nice to see a Gloucester naturalist treasure being recognized in the spring –(bird-a-thon season!)– at Joppa Flats Education Center, Parker River National Wildlife sanctuary. Folks and fans can also swarm cards and MA Audubon gifts as a great way to acknowledge this milestone. Chris’s astonishing powers of observation and communication skills can make anyone care about birds, nature, and place. Within a mere twenty seconds of conversation he can capture history and immediacy in such an affable and effortless manner. What an ambassador.
“If I said, ‘Are there more birds around in the summer or the winter?’ most people would say the summer, and that’s right. But not by much,” said tour leader Christopher Leahy of Gloucester, who holds the Gerard A. Bertrand chair of natural history and field ornithology at Mass Audubon. “Actually almost 50 percent of the 300 bird species that occur in Massachusetts occur here during the winter.”– Chris Leahy from Boston Globe article Thrills and Chills: Birders Brave the Cape Ann Cold and Find What They’re Looking For by Joel Brown, published February 5, 2009
Nine Swans a-Swimming
After checking in with my elbow doctor at Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport, I took a drive along the road to Plum Island. I only meant to stay for a few minutes as I was planning to hurry on back to work on current projects but within moments of being there, a gorgeous Red-tailed Hawk was spied circling around. It was too tempting and I desperately wanted to stay longer and photograph and film but turned right around and headed back over the causeway. Halfway across a bevy of some sort of large white avian creature caught my eye–could it be–yes, it was a large flock of swans! They were feeding on the seaweed and seagrass along the Merrimack River shoreline.
Quickly finding a place to park I got out my gear and with a wide swathe of marsh grass dividing me from the swans, I tried to get as close to the water’s edge as possible. There were NINE swans in all, two adults and seven almost year-old swans. So much for getting back quickly. And was I ever pleased with my rule never to leave the house without cameras.
A passing woman from the neighborhood out walking said that this was the first time she had seen the swans at the river’s edge in over two years. For my swan film, footage of one year old swans was needed, and here were seven! Every cloud has a silver lining as I never would have been on Plum Island today if not for elbow injury.
Great info from Fred
1910 Plum Island
I shot this and a bunch of other photos on Sunday using an old Nikkor 24mm f2.8 manual lens that I got at a yard sale for $15. It was more work, but if you have lenses from your old SLR’s and they fit on your DSLR, try experimenting with them. You might be surprised with the results! Here’s more information on this.
thanks Len Burgess for submitting the link
Beth Roenker writes-
Joey, attached are some pictures Chris Roenker of Rockport took on Thursday from a helicopter piloted by Dan Zimmermann also of Rockport. They flew around Cape Ann and got some really great shots. Thought you might want to share them. Love the blog! Beth
click pics for larger versions
more pics coming tomorrow
1 is the photographer, Chris Roenker
3 is the helicopter pilot, Dan Zimmermann
6 and 7 – great foliage shots
9 and 10 – Essex Marshes and Cape Ann golf course
11 is Plumb Island
12 – Wingarsheek beach
14 – Halibut Point State park
I went up to Newburyport this morning for a dr.’s appointment and took a ride out to Plum Island on my way back. I tried posting from my iPhone, but it didn’t work. This is a test(still from my phone, but home). Maybe it’ll work.