"Celebrating Marblehead's Migratory Birds"
Photographs by Rob Kipp
The lure of the Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary which is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Audubon Society is one of the most magical spots on the East Coast Flyway used by birds on their migration to their northern nesting locations in Spring and again on their southerly passage to their wintering locations in warmer climates. Massachusetts has six prominent points along the coastal flyway which are included in this exhibit: Migrant Birds of Marblehead, Nahant Thickets, Riverhead Beach, Forrest River on up to Ipswich River Sanctuary and Plum Island at Parker River Wildlife Refuge and Sandy Point Reservation.
The different species shown in this exhibit of Marblehead's birds are exactly what we encounter at each of the locations depicted in this show which begins as you enter the exhibit from the hallway, on right side with the Nahant Thickets and Palmers Pond showing a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Sandhill Crane and the unusual Northern Shoveler on into Marblehead at Ware Pond. Marblehead Neck Sanctuary which is the entire gallery to the right as you enter the show, many of the birds that one would first encounter when entering the Sanctuary in the Spring which would include Carolina Wren, Common Yellowthroat Warbler, Magnolia Warbler and Hermit Thrush. A little further up to the Sanctuary pond would be more migrating warblers, Mallard Ducks along with Wood Ducks, Wilson Warblers, Canada Warbler, Black-crowned Night-Heron and going further up to Migration Overlook would be Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Eastern Phoebe and Scarlet Tanager. Crossing off the neck you encounter Riverhead Beach which at low tide has American Oystercatchers, Little Egrets, Herring Gulls and abundant shorebirds. Traveling out of Marblehead you cross over a bridge which tidal flows up into Forrest River Conservation Land which has Bald Eagles and nesting Osprey and Snowy Egrets. Heading north are some abundant woods and grassy fields that yield many unusual Migrants such as Bobolinks, Pileated Woodpeckers and Eastern Bluebirds in Ipswich River Sanctuary and at Appleton Farms. A little further north is one of the most magnificent attractions for larger Migrating birds at Plum Island, Parker River Wildlife Reservation. Plum Island holds one of my favorite spots to photograph nesting terns and Piping Plover with overhead looks at nesting Osprey and migrating Eagles, hawks and ducks on the Salt Pans which often has large flocks of ducks, geese and shore birds. I would be remiss for not mentioning the importance of the Marblehead Conservancy and the importance it plays in impacting the species shown in this exhibit. Of note beside some of the "four legged critters" I encounter while photographing birds today are several species included in this exhibit were on the brink of extinction. The Eastern Bluebird which almost diminished as was the Sandhill Crane which was down to a handful of birds including the Piping Plover and Bald Eagle were near extinction. All four species can now be found in Essex County today thanks to the efforts to make changes in our environment.
This exhibit is the includes 20 years of birding images brought together in this show. I hope you enjoy this exhibit as much as I did capturing these images. Thank you for taking the time to visit this show and view my work. Prints are available for purchase at either link below.