There are many more eagles in Connecticut during the winter. As the waters freeze north of us, many travel south along the Connecticut River looking for open water. This open water allows for them to search for their primary meals, which is fish. I have also observed them eating ducks and other animals on occasion. If you are interested in view Bald Eagles on the Connecticut River, your best bet is to make stops at the Chester Ferry, Deep River Landing, and the Essex Town Dock. They are all within close proximity of each other. If you stop at all three locations, chances are you will see your share of Bald Eagles. Other promising areas from which to search include Salmon River Boat Launch, Haddam Meadows, The Goodspeed Opera House parking lot, and the former Camelot Cruise parking lot on the opposite side of the river. If there are no eagles flying, you can try to spot them perched in trees along the banks of the river. If it is an adult, the white head will give it away.
We moved along at an extremely casual pace on this day. When we saw a bird or birds that interested us, we spent a lot of time watching them before moving on. I would say that we were more birdwatchers on this day than we were birders. It was a nice change of pace from January when the main focus was adding birds to a list. We saw a total of 28 species, which is actually more than what I would have expected at this park during this time of the year. We saw at least a dozen Eastern Bluebirds during the trip. The brilliant blue color of the males really showed up well on this brightly lit day. One couple were delighted to get their first view of Cedar Waxwings. Do you remember the first time you saw a Cedar Waxwing? Other notable birds included Hermit Thrush, Brown Creeper, Great Blue Heron, and numerous Golden-crowned Kinglets. The sound of the kinglets seemed to be coming from every direction and the Hermit Thrush stared right at us while flicking its wings and bobbing its tail.
The field trip leader also pointed out various plants and fungi along the way. This tiny British Soldier Lichen (seen above) displayed a nice touch of red on a winter day. I hope to learn a little bit more about plants and trees this year.
Here are some new birding blogs that I've recently added to my blogroll:
Tom Pirro has a blog called Birding North Central Massachusetts And Beyond. He does some serious birding in his area but he doesn't mind venturing out into the woods for the sake of exploration, even if it means that he will see fewer species. I like that. I see that he has recently seen a Bohemian Waxwing which has been on my list of birds I'd like to see for a while now.
Sycamore Canyon is by "Kathiebirds" of Arizona. This blog has very descriptive, well written accounts of Kathie's birding adventures. There are very colorful photos of species that I don't get to see around here, such as Roadrunners and Vermillion Flycatchers.
The Birdcouple-This blog features the birding experiences of a husband and wife team. I have found several of their posts to be very informative including this one.
When you get a chance, check out these excellent birding blogs.