Christmas Dinner and Boxing Day Birds
Christmas Day was a new venture for our family. Rather than doing the holiday at my Dad’s, Christmas dinner as at Chilmark Girl’s place, with dessert later at my brother’s. CG made dinner, which was also non-traditional: rack of lamb and some (for us) new vegetables, including an amazing cauliflower gratin. I participated in the appetizer, which was a fruit compote- raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, apricots and bananas- in raspberry coulis with tangerine sorbet. I made the sorbet. The entire meal was wonderful and memorable.
Today, Leon and I participated in a tradition of our own- a drive around Cape and with birding. We started at White and Black Beach. The weather was beautiful- sunny and in the mid 40’s. Unfortunately, good weather keeps the ducks further off shore and out of view. Still, the day held some real pleasures.
The weather was so nice, that we were able to walk the breakwater at Eastern Point in Gloucester. The breakwater is about a quarter mile long, and connects the lighthouse at Eastern Point with a small navigational light at the entrance to Gloucester Harbor. In previous years either the weather was too cold, or the waves were crashing over the breakwater. Today it was only us and the birds. We saw mostly gulls, but there was a flock of about 60 purple sandpipers flying about and landing on the rocks of the breakwater. I managed to get a few pictures.
The real treat of the day came as we left Eastern Point. Passing a small pond, we noticed a group of birders lining the road with spotting scopes trained on a group of gulls out on the pond ice. I rolled the window down and asked if this was a Christmas Bird Count, or if they were seeing something special. It turns out that there was a slaty-backed gull from Asia out in the flock. It was the first-ever record of this species in Massachusetts. We were invited to look through a spotting scope and got pictures through it. My birding friends will be jealous of this one.
The characteristic pink legs are visible in this picture.