Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Huge White Pelican Just Flew Over My House!


I was in my back yard cutting my grass this morning with one of those non-powered reel push mowers. At the same time, I was watching the sky knowing that this will be the last weekend that large numbers of broad-winged Hawks might move through the area.
Suddenly, I see this huge black and white bird with an an enormous wingspan (108") flying towards my direction.
 It was soaring like a giant bird bird of prey. What an awesome sight an American White Pelican is when in flight! It's also considered a rare sighting for Connecticut. Maybe I should start cutting my grass more often!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Quiet Nature Preserves Have Their Busy Days

We have a small nature preserve in town named The Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary. I like to stop in for a quick look around whenever I'm in the area. During my last visit their was a Red-shouldered Hawk calling out keyeer keyeer keeyer from the top of a pine tree just as I was getting out of my car.
The preserve used to be a cranberry bog but since the beavers moved in the flora has changed quite a bit. I don't know what these flowers are but I did like the color.
  They built a nice platform a few years back. It makes for a comfortable place with a good vantage point form which to view birds. I look forward to seeing Hooded Mergansers in late winter and there are Wood Ducks here most of the year. In summer, you can expect to see  flycatchers, swallows, Great Blue Herons, and Green Herons.

The preserve happens to be located at the edge of Meshomasic State forest so I've had good luck finding migrating warblers in the surrounding woods during spring migration .
 A couple of weeks ago there was about 75 Tree Swallows here feeding on insects getting ready for their fall journey.
Here's a little clip of the Red-shouldered Hawk calling. The ringing in the background is the result of me leaving my keys in the ignition and leaving my car door open.

Being a nature preserve does not necessarily make a place 
a birding hotspot. The birding can be slow at the Helen Carlson Wildlife Sanctuary but every so often it seems to come alive just when I least expect it.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Black Swans Not Native But A First For Me

I saw a Black Swan this weekend which has been hanging around South Cove in Old Saybrook. They are native to Australia so this is probably an escaped bird. Still, it's the first time I've seen one.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ignored Birds Are Conspicuous Birds

 My wife and I Spent a couple of days at Saybrook Point Inn. The top photo is a view of the Saybrook Point Marina as seen from our window. 
 I had no plans to do any birding during our stay but birds seem to have a way of finding me. It's hard to ignore a tree full of Monk Parakeets when they're ten feet from where you parked your car. I don't know what kind of tree this is but it had some sort of greenish round pods the parakeets were eating.   
 I had no real desire to go cormorant watching but look at how neatly they're lined up on top of a rock. How could I resist taking a photo of them?
 I continued my walk down the causeway which crosses south cove and there must have been 20 Osprey circling around looking for fish.
 It was compelling to watch them set their sights on a fish target and then dramatically plunge into the water to retrieve them.

I sometimes take breaks from my usual birdwatching routine but birds only seem more conspicuous if you try to ignore them. And why would I want to anyway?