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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

Outermost Birding with Beston

As the days of autumn grow shorter across Cape Cod, many across the peninsula turn their eyes skyward for some of the best entertainment that the natural world can offer — as Henry Beston called it, “the great migrations.”

Bird watching is big business in these parts, although it may have been Beston who popularized it after his Cape Cod nature classic, “The Outermost House,” was published in 1928. From his outpost cottage on the seaside dunes of Eastham, the self-proclaimed “writer-naturalist” had a view of bird life that few ever took before.

“How singular it is that so little has been written about the birds of Cape Cod!” Beston wrote in the first chapter of “The Outermost House.” “The peninsula, from an ornithologist’s point of view, is one of the most interesting in the world.

“The interest does not centre on the resident birds … it lies in the fact that living here, one may see more kinds and varieties of birds than it would seem possible to discover in any one small region.”

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