Marion, Mattapoisett team up for a successful bird watch

Jan 11, 2020

MARION — The Sippican Lands Trust’s Duck Waddle had more birds than people, but with 22 people showing up for the Jan. 11 birdwatching event, the human turnout wasn’t bad either. 

The group initially met at Silvershell Beach and carpooled to three other Sippican Lands Trust sites in search of birds. Justin Barrett and Carol Molander of Mattapoisett’s Nasketucket Bird Club identified 32 species, and sometimes saw multiples of each species, usually far enough away to need binoculars. 

Buffleheads, a type of sea duck with a white body, iridescent stripe and white triangle on their head, were one of the more common ducks. Molander and Barrett explained that ducks eat eat shellfish and snails. The group also saw Canada Geese, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Common Eider, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Mergansers, Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gull and Great Cormorant.

On the golf course at the Kittansett Club the group also spotted a peregrine falcon while birdwatching at the nearby beach. The bird appeared to be preening, and one birdwatcher commented that “that’s what my cat does after it eats!” 

The bird experts also said that the Kittansett Club is one of the best places in Marion to see snowy owls, since it most resembles the tundra where they are found. 

A walk through the woods to get to the marsh at the Sippican Lands Trust’s Osprey Marsh property revealed a number of non-waterbirds, including Red-tailed Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse,  Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Gray Catbird, House Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Northern Cardinal.

The accessible boardwalk that the Sippican Lands Trust built is almost complete, certainly walkable, and needs just a few finishing touches. The group is still fundraising for the boardwalk.