Friday, September 16, 2011

More Beaches and a word about our park…

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Wednesday was another fabulous sunny day near 80 so we once again made a trek to the beaches and this time we focused on those around the Chatham, MA area. There are some great beaches in this area and Chatham has a lot of beaches but the best of the best in Chatham in our opinion was South beach.

2011-09-15 Cape Cod Canal 026South beach not only had really good birding along the shoreline but as an added bonus we were able to see both species of seal common to this part of the cape, the grey seal and the harbor seal. We sat near the tip of South Beach to enjoy our lunch while watching a parade of seals swimming just offshore. There were literally hundreds of seals swimming from our right to our left but never back the other way… we thought Why not??? Most of the seals paused to stare at us allowing great photo opportunities. 

2011-09-15 Cape Cod Canal 042We may never know why they continued in only one direction but it was a hoot to watch the seals and gulls gallivanting and strutting their best stuff. After lunch we randomly stopped at various beaches on our way back to the park along the south side of Cape Cod. We referred to these beaches as the angry beaches since the surf was more aggressive and the wave action more intense. Horseshoe crab exoskeletons were littering the shoreline along with abundant sea grass.

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2011-09-15 Cape Cod Canal 039Thursday we decided to stay closer to our park as we really hadn’t spent any time at it yet. So the plan was for a morning bike ride and our decision was to ride from the park to the west end of the Cape Cod Canal and then back to the east end of the canal. This circumnavigation of the Cape Cod Canal meant our bike ride would be around 13 miles.  Since it was relatively flat it made for a real pleasant ride.

2011-09-15 Cape Cod Canal 046With weather looming on the horizon (a cold front was on it way) we decided the afternoon would be spent on the beach adjacent to the park. About 1/4 mile away from our site is a long (mostly deserted) beach. We plopped our newly purchased beach chairs (only $6.50 each at the closeout sale here on the Cape). The waves were slowly lapping the shoreline and the weather was perfect except for the clouds on the horizon… after a few hours the park ranger came by warning us of a storm moving our way with 50 mph winds and hail.Amazingly, on the way back from the beach there were thousands of tree swallows swarming over the grassy covered dunes. It felt a bit like an old Alfred Hitchcock movie…Sigh,  we reluctantly left the beach and went home to await the storm… some rain, no wind, no hail… so no bad storm for us however the temperature dipped down into the forties here tonight and will only reach the mid 60’s for the next several days.

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What’s next? We booked a spot near Mystic Connecticut for our next stop and will leave here on Monday heading west. Looking over the route to see how we will best avoid traffic and tolls in and around the New York city area as well as Philly and DC further south.

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  1. Looks like you made the best of warm beach days, now head south looking for warmer weather is good.

  2. This is directional swimming/flying is not all that uncommon and I have seen it occur with birds as well as seals. Along the Dover cliffs I watched for 8 hours and always I saw birds flying from the South to the North. I have seen it more often with birds than with seals, but I suspect there are others who do the same. Then again you have migratory patterns that happen on an annual cycle that we are aware of -- surely there are other "cycles" that we are just unaware of.
    Our local swallows always feed at the same times, the rest of the day I never see them, but when the time is right there are all out there swooping and feeing.

  3. What a beautiful area you have been visiting. Always love the beach areas. Seems like the weather is really starting to get cooler.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous area. We are looking forward to getting closer to the water.

  5. Almost 80 sounds wonderful. We're back to the 60s and I'm in layers again. I'm not happy. No wonder I'm going to Tucson. The beach looks really inviting.

  6. All those birds are a hoot. Send some of that warm weather our way!!!!