Bird Watching Splendor In September

Things To Do In Cape Cod

If you thought there was nothing to do on Cape Cod after Labor Day – think again.

Aside from some great harvest festivals, September is a terrific month for bird watching on Cape Cod!

The summer crowds have subsided, the days are cool and crisp, and the bird population is at its peak. In fact, the Atlantic Coast is one of the busiest “stopovers” for thousands of birds that migrate for the winter.

So, what will you spot on a fall day on Cape Cod? Here’s an exciting preview!

Birding On Cape Cod

Sanderlings – As circumnavigators, they leave their Arctic homes in the fall, travel east across North America, continue down the Atlantic coast, then winter in Chile or Peru.

Plovers and sandpipers – Generally they are identified in the spring by their spectacular color. However, in the fall, they return from their nesting grounds with less bright winter plumage.

Willets, dunlins and godwits – Spying a Hudsonian Godwit is especially satisfying. These experienced travelers are known to make their 8,000 mile migration nonstop. However, those that do stop on the voyage have often found our shores.

Pelagic and sea ducks - These creatures move in a steady stream from the Gulf of Maine. However, they are impossible to see without access to a boat–with one exception. If a good ol’ Nor’easter buffets the Cape, especially at night, the passing pelagic birds get blown in. In the morning, these travelers are trapped in sight of land and instinctively turn eastward.

Where To Go Bird Spotting

Knowing where to go bird spotting is key to a successful outing. The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place to start as it is home to more than 260 species of birds. You can explore on your own, or take advantage of one of the regularly scheduled field trips.

The Ashumet Holly and Wildlife Sanctuary is also a good bet.  The 45-acre Audubon Society bird sanctuary features eight self-guided nature walks and nore than 130 species of bird.

If birding at the beach is more your style, head to First Encounter Beach in Eastham early in the morning – especially after a storm. There,  you have an excellent chance of encountering shearwaters, petrels, jeagers, Nothern Gannets, Black-Legged Kittiwakes, phalaropes, loons and alcids. Great Skua, Sabine’s Gull, Atlantic Puffin and other rarities have been observed as well.

Cape Cod Vacations In The Fall

Cape Cod in the fall is perhaps the best time to plan a vacation. After the crowds have the gone,  Cape Cod hotels roll out some tremendous vacation packages and deals.

The fall is also the perfect time to get an up close look the region’s true landscape and wildlife – in a relaxing, peaceful setting.

Experience nature at its best. Come to Cape Cod in September!


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