It’s my good fortune to have dear friends with a home on Nantucket, and we have just returned from another week with them on their beautiful island. These friends are also birding and photography enthusiasts and have taught me much. For those who don’t know, Nantucket, or the Grey Lady, is a 48 square mile island in the Atlantic, 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Its “greyness” likely originates from the common morning fog or possibly the weathered shingles on almost all the buildings. The island’s rich maritime history is well known, but its birding is also phenomenal. “A picture is worth a thousand words” so this post will be a small portfolio, sharing the sights from this late summer excursion and some earlier visits.
A visitor to Nantucket is immediately struck by the vast undulating moors in the central island with isolated ponds, leading to unspoiled marshes and beaches. The town has its countless photo-ops, but I prefer to wander the remainder of the island, especially after Labor Day when the crowds have thinned. Various conservation organizations have acquired and preserved close to half of the island’s land. Birding with friends with local knowledge allows one to visit countless habitats, some down dirt and sandy roads, to view native birds as well as migrants, seeking respite on the island before moving further south. My Nantucket life list grew to 90 this week with the additions of a Black Tern and Least Sandpiper. Keep in mind that the Linda Loring Nature Foundation runs weekly birding trips and a Birding Festival, this year on October 16-18, 2015. Its a great chance to bird with local guides with knowledge of this gem in the Atlantic. http://www.llnf.org