The Beach, the Hawk, and the Sparrow

Today was to be my traditional leftovers sandwich day but once the rain cleared, I skipped the stuffing and headed up the coast for a few super indulgent hours of walking alone in nature with my camera.

The excitement was building as I tried to decide exactly where to look. What will I see today? What about Owls? Will I get another chance to shoot those Snow Geese or Loons? Where are the seals?

My first stop was through the dunes and out onto the beach at Plum Island. I could feel the green ring on my Apple Watch cranking with my heart rate as I climbed the forever boardwalks and jumped down onto the deep, coarse sand.

The scene was breathtakingly soft, with warm light under the cloud cover casting a true sea foam green sheen on the wet sand.

After a long walk breathing in the fresh colors of the beach—daydreaming of being in a tribe on Survivor—I happily headed back to the car and down the road.

I drove scanning the treetops, a dangerous habit, which normally results in finding a hawk and swerving to the side of the road to hop out. It worked exactly like that again today as I glimpsed this guy bouncing on a branch.

The handsome Red-Tailed Hawk, buteo jamaicensis, loosened up his wings and turned to pose for a few candids before he remembered something else he had to do across the field.

He was truly a great sport, and spending those few moments together had made my day. But maybe there was something more …

I pulled off the road to stretch my legs and heard a really pretty little bird song. Squinting and zooming in, I couldn’t see anything in the brush. I rounded the sound and came upon a plump little Savannah Sparrow eating Bittersweet berries.

It was my first sighting, and I was happy to have found him, Passerculus sandwichensis.

Hey, it’s getting late and that reminds me—time to get home for that Thanksgiving sandwich.

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