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A Cape Cod Notebook

A Cape Cod Notebook

Kathy Shorr

A Cape Cod Notebook can be heard every Tuesday morning at 8:45am and afternoon at 5:45pm.

It's commentary on the unique people, wildlife, and environment of our coastal region.

A Cape Cod Notebook commentators include:

Robert Finch, a nature writer living in Wellfleet who created, 'A Cape Cod Notebook.' It won the 2006 New England Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio Writing. He has lived on and written about Cape Cod for forty years. He is the author of six collections of essays, including "The Iambics of Newfoundland" (Counterpoint Press), and co-editor of "The Norton Book of Nature Writing." His new book, "The Outer Beach: A Thousand-Mile Walk Along Cape Cod’s Atlantic Shore."

Mary Bergman, originally from Provincetown, now lives on Nantucket.  She is a writer and historian, working in historic preservation and writing a novel. 

Nelson Sigelman is an award winning former reporter, outdoor writer and author. He has been honored by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, the New England Outdoor Writers Association and the New England Press Association. His most recent book is Martha’s Vineyard Outdoors, Fishing, Hunting and Avoiding Divorce on a Small Island. He currently works part time for the Tisbury Shellfish Department and lives with his wife Norma in Vineyard Haven.

Susan Moeller - Susan Moeller is a freelance writer and editor who was a reporter and editor with the Boston Herald and Cape Cod Times. She’s lived on the Cape for 45 years and when not working, swims, plays handbells, pretends to garden and walks her dog, Dug. She lives in Cummaquid. 

Dennis Minsky's career as a field biologist began in 1974, at Cape Cod National Seashore, protecting nesting terns and plovers.  A Provincetown resident since 1968, he returned full time in 2005.  He is involved in many local conservation projects, works as a naturalist on the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch, and tries to write.

 A Cape Cod Notebook is made possible in part with support from Titcomb’s Bookshop on Route 6A in East Sandwich.

Ways to Connect
  • I’ve been getting a lot of mixed signals from Mother Earth lately. On my early morning walk yesterday I saw an optimistic chipmunk, then a freshly dead garter snake that probably should have stayed in bed another two months.
  • As I write this, Red Knots feel very far away. To be more precise, 7000 miles and three months away. These Arctic nesting shorebirds are marathon migrators, traveling from well above the Arctic circle to wintering areas at the other end of the planet each year.
  • It’s Valentine's Day, which means it’s time to sort through the picked over remains of the greeting cards to find the least groanworthy one. But us people aren’t the only ones suffering though – I mean reveling in love this time of year – it’s also courtin’ season for many species of birds.
  • This past weekend I was tasked with leading a duck and eagle safari on behalf of the remarkable Harwich Conservation Trust. With a full roster of 15 hopeful birdwatchers, my plan was to check various spots around the big pond complex in Harwich and Brewster, a great area to see winter ducks and the eagles that eat them.
  • Yesterday was a typical Tuesday. I was working at my desk at Wellfleet Bay sanctuary, while trickling through the back of my mind was that little stream of anxiety about what this week’s bird report should be about.
  • This time the snow stuck. It was the perfect snow – not enough to shovel but enough to fuel a weekend of sledding and several days of successful wildlife tracking.
  • Yesterday morning I thought I might make this week’s piece about birding in snow, then, in true Cape Cod fashion, that lovely snow was gone within a few hours.
  • On a frozen morning last week I stopped to sort through ducks at Town Cove in Orleans, a place that accumulates all sorts of waterfowl when other spots start to freeze.
  • Every year around this time I can be heard carrying on about the Christmas Bird Counts – which rare birds were seen where, what count had the most species, and so on. This “sports page” account of the counts is fun way to look at it, but it doesn’t mean much in the big picture.
  • While this is the season of Christmas Bird Counts, wherein highly trained hit squads of birders comb all the birdy hotspots and seldom visited back roads of the Cape and beyond, it is not correct to think of one of these counts as a complete census.