Sunday, July 22, 2018

It's Okay For Birders To Sit Quietly By A Brook

 Birders are often focused on the number, variety, and rarity of birds they can see.We may even use technology to call the birds to us. One of the things that sometimes get lost in the modern era of birding is the joy of letting nature find you as opposed to trying to chase it down.       

Sitting quietly by a brook is a soothing way to appreciate the beauty of an early summer morning.
 Watching as the sunshine lights up the mist rising from the water.
 Or watching birds land quietly nearby as you melt into the landscape that surrounds you.
Birds sometimes may give you a better glimpse of their natural behavior when they're not trying to avoid our presence.
 You can even take time to notice other things outside of birds like this gigantic fishing spider I came across a couple of years ago.

One thing that is great about birding is that you don't always have to approach things the same way. Sometimes birding seem more like a sport but it's up to each individual birder what approach they take. My rules say that there's nothing wrong with sitting down next to a cool, babbling brook.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Summer Birding: Nesting Osprey

I tend to slow down with the birding during the dog days of  summer. I was taking a morning walk down at the shore and came across some nesting osprey. That was good enough for me. Time to get in an air conditioned car as the temperature is racing towards 95!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

7 Advantages Of Birding Along A Rail Trail


They opened up a new stretch of the Airline rail trail which runs through Portland. The trail has always been there but by clearing away the path and putting down crushed gravel it makes it more accessible to every one. I had mixed feelings about turning a rustic trail into a public one but decided there were several reasons why I preferred the new version after using it for the first time. It has many advantages for birding. Here are some of the reasons why:
1) The widened trail makes it easier to see birds: It's easier to view birds when you have some space around you.
2) It reduces the bug factor: The gravel-packed trail helped reduce the number of ticks, mosquitoes, and deer flies.It also keeps the poison ivy away from contact distance.
3) The linear nature of the trail help keeps you on track: There is something relaxing about walking along one straight trail while birding. It feels very orderly and relaxing to move along focusing on birds and not having to decided which direction to walk next.
4)The trail brings you past a variety of landscape and habitat: When they built this railroad they blasted right though ledge and whatever else was in their way. This allows for miles of varied scenic viewing.
 5)There is lots of vegetation, berries, and flowers:This makes for a good place to find butterflies and other insects.
6) There are lots of birds! I saw and heard wall to wall birds along most of the trail. I also found a good variety of species (49).
 7) There are remnants of the historic past along the way:
 I used to think that these crosses were some sort of metallic memorial tombstone but it was actually part of a railway storage rack.

Naturally, rail trail habitat can vary depending on the area but I plan to make several trips to the Airline trail this year.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sunrise At Harbor Park In Middletown


This sunrise scene along the Connecticut River In Middletown as viewed from Harbor Park precedes the first day of a week-long heatwave.
This is a view of the Arrigoni bridge along with the smaller railroad
bridge.