to stand by these shores

6.15.22 ~ great blue heron at Avery Pond

Assorted sightings from an early summer, sunny, beach walk… Enjoy!

path to the Eastern Point estuary beach
double-crested cormorants in the estuary
cultivated rose on the fence
song sparrow on sign
entrance to Eastern Point Beach
common grackle (?) with missing tail (?)
sailing way offshore
Avery Point, view across the water from Eastern Point
top of Avery Point Light seen over the hill

For some strange reason we didn’t see any gulls…


Good it is to stand by these shores
How beautiful life can seem!
Hear; what joy from birds’ throats pours,
see, how the grass verdant gleams!

Bees are humming, butterflies shimmering
lark-song pierces through the clouds,
and from bowls with nectar brimming
we drink our fill of summer flowers.

~ Gunnar Wennerberg
(The Magic of Fjords)


Then, two days later, in hazy conditions…

6.17.22 ~ female brown-headed cowbird near the fence
killdeer standing on one leg at Beach Pond
I couldn’t decide which killdeer picture I liked best…

Connecticut’s positivity rate dipped down to 7.6% but now it’s creeping back up again, 8.1% on Friday. Sigh…

34 thoughts on “to stand by these shores”

  1. A lovely post Barbara. Your photos showed the area so well. Liked the words of Gunnar Wennerberg. Sorry to hear the covid numbers are increasing in your area again. The same thing is happening here. SIGH

  2. Wonderful captures of a lovely place to visit, Barbara, I am ready to walk down the sandy path and relax by the sea…. Awesome shots of the birds!! Yes, that’s a Common Grackle, does look like the poor fella lost it’s tail, oh my. What a special bonus with the rose alongside the female cowbird!! I like all your Killdeer shots, how he slowly turns to look at you with each click. “I know you’re there, lady!” 😊

    1. Thank you, Donna! I couldn’t believe that cowbird picture came out — it was the only one out of dozens because it was flitting about along the ground so quickly. The killdeer was far more cooperative, standing there quietly observing and contemplating the world, and me. 🥰

  3. The missing tail on the common grackle is making me raise my eyebrows! How could it fly without its full trusty rudder? (A tail is kinda like a rudder, yes?) Happy summertime, Barbara.

    1. I just found your comment in my spam queue, Kathy. I’m not sure what’s going on! I don’t know how the grackle was managing to fly but he was okay and flitting around with the rest of his flock. Happy Summer to you, dear Kathy!

  4. Hmmm, I just commented but the computer ate it. Was trying to figure out why/how the common grackle had such a little tail. Hope you are having a good summer, Barbara.

  5. I don’t know, Barbara, if it is a grackle without a tail. Could a grackle be born without a tail or molt its entire tail? Maybe. I’m sure curious about this fellow!

    I’m glad that you could not decide which photo that you like best and decided to post all three. I also saw the movement of the killdeer turning to watch you. The three photos gave me a fun game. The prize killdeer photo for me is number one, clearly standing on one leg in his zen moment looking out to sea.

    Lovely post today!

    1. Thank you, TD! A zen moment, indeed. It seems to be a killdeer yoga pose. 🥰 I think there are several possibilities for the missing grackle tail, birth defect, accident or, I also read, that they sometimes molt all their tail feathers at the same time.

  6. Just beautiful! I’d like to stand by some shore right now. Not til next month, thought. The birds you photo are so thoughtful to stand still for you like that. 🙂 Hazy and cool here now. Birds love it!

    1. Thank you, Pam! The killdeer and the cormorants stood still but the rest of them were moving incessantly. Have a wonderful time at the shore! 🥰 (New Jersey?)

  7. Nice shots, Barbara. The sea is lovely to see! 😉 The grackle may have had a close call with a predator, a narrow escape! I like the angle of the 3rd killdeer best. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Eliza! 🥰 If a predator is responsible for the missing tail I wonder if the feathers might grow back?

      1. Yes, they will. I once rescued a cedar waxwing that the cat had de-tailed and couldn’t fly. As it was winter, it stayed in my sunspace for a little over a month until it’s new feathers grew in and then I released it. That was a success!

        1. That’s so good to know. Although this grackle was flying around seemingly without any difficulty. I didn’t even notice the missing tail feathers right away. That must have been such a rewarding experience, caring for and then releasing the cedar waxwing!

  8. I love your water photos, Barbara! They look so refreshing on a hot June day. I find myself worrying though about that poor bird without his tail. Will he grow another? Can he fly without it? What do the female birds think of a male that’s not a perfect specimen? Gosh, so many questions!

    1. Thank you, Debbie! I don’t know if the grackle will grow more tail feathers but I can put your mind at ease about his flying. He landed on that railing and took off flying again without any apparent difficulty. 🥰

  9. You always seem to capture those spunky little killdeer on your walks Barbara – I usually get them as they fly away or run on those long legs. The beauty of the water and sand and the flowers, plus your poem make such a peaceful read. I hope to see seagulls as do you – my trip to the Detroit River shore to several parks last weekend = no seagulls. I wonder if they, like the geese, are molting and making themselves scarce in the skies?

    1. It certainly seems to be a good summer for catbirds and killdeer. Still not seeing gulls, though. I’m starting to worry about that avian flu ~ hundreds of dead cormorants have washed ashore on Martha’s Vineyard recently… According to the internet gulls have “one partial and one complete molt per year. The first and second partial molts span up to 7 or 8 months, subsequent prealternate molts about 4 to 6 months.”

      1. I hope to see a catbird one day Barbara. I see killdeer but not as many as you and I often hear them more than seeing them. Interesting about how the gulls are molting – I have not seen any last weekend and this morning I went to the River after walking at the Park – not a single gull, but I saw at least 100 Canada Geese gathered in the middle of the Detroit River with their youngsters as well. They are there awaiting their flight feathers and were sleeping as a huge group. As I approached to take pictures, I was nowhere near them, but they all dispersed, some to the shoreline near a boat. They are skittish now as they can’t take flight, but amazing seeing so many at one time on the water. The geese and goslings have been gone from my park for two weeks now, so were likely there as well as it’s just about 1 1/2 miles away. [I’m so far behind here – I’ve had a horrendous week at work – new computer, new software and half of it doesn’t work – 91 degrees tomorrow, so will go out early and be home fairly early as well.

        1. I hope you manage to stay cool and comfortable today, Linda! Sorry to hear about your work computer woes. It’s amazing how much we depend on them and how much our lives are disrupted when they’re not functioning! I’m glad your geese families seem to be doing all right and I hope nothing unpleasant is going on with the gulls. It’s so strange not seeing them where they are usually so plentiful…

          1. We do rely on computers too much and I have stuck with my Windows 7 laptop, rather than going to the Windows 10 laptop (that’s been here waiting for him to configure everything), simply because I feel Windows 7 is like an old shoe – Windows 10 has too many bells and whistles to it. (My opinion of course.) I hope the gulls are immune to the avian bird flu – it seems odd not to se any gulls.

          2. You sound like my sister. Every time IT at the college where she works starts tinkering with her computer software she gets all worked up because she’s comfortable with what she already has. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is her basic thinking. Sigh. I’d be lost without my husband and my son to take care of all that stuff for me.

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