Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Medley Of Topics

Taking Advantage Of Opportunities

I was traveling up route 66 Sunday when I noticed an Osprey perched in a tree overlooking Wrights Cove, a freshwater tidal pond off of the Connecticut River. Ospreys are quite abundant along the shoreline right now but seeing them here in Portland is much more exciting for me. This photo was taken at 7am in the morning with partly cloudy conditions. I had to point the camera in the direction of the sun to take a photo. In this case the cloud cover helped. This Osprey was cooperative but as you can see some branches got in the way-dratts!! -always something! I'm glad that I stopped to take this photo because it turned out to be the only bird I photographed on Sunday.

Click to play Carolina Wren singing

I was getting ready to leave when I heard a Carolina Wren singing. Ounce for ounce, those perky little birds have to be one of the loudest species! First I took a hand-held video of the bird but it looked pretty shaky during playback. I decided to set the camera up on a tripod, something I've been making a concerted effort to do lately. This wren continued to sing from the branch as I set the camera up. I guess he really wanted to be in a movie!

After I took the video, I continued on to Machimoudus Park in East Haddam. I met up with Adrian and Beth who were surveying the area for an upcoming field trip. Some of the more interesting species we saw included: 2 immature Bald Eagles, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Bluebirds, several Palm Warblers, a female Purple Finch, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, Eastern Phoebes, Field Sparrows, and one mystery bird which we guessed might have been a Northern Waterthrush . We didn't get a good enough look at that one to be sure though so it didn't make the list. This should make for a nice field trip on Saturday May 3rd.

Conservation Piece

Over the last couple of years, I've been trying to look for little ways to reduce my impact on the environment. Carpooling, not using bags for to-go food , and drinking shade-grown coffee are three examples of changes I've made. It's all about changing habits which can be a slow process. Recently I discovered that you can use your own travel mug when you buy a cup of coffee- to -go from a restaurant or coffee shop. This way you don't have to add another styrofoam or paper cup to the trash bin. One coffee shop even made me a single serving of organic shade grown coffee using a french press at no extra charge!-($1.65 for a tall cup at Starbucks).

Other Blogs

  • First of all, I want to say thank Ruthie J at Nature Knitter for giving me an "E" blogging award. It was a nice gesture and I appreciate it.-thanks Ruthie!
  • The Birdfreak bloggers deserve credit for their constant devotion to conservation issues. Although I don't follow all of their suggestions, reading their blog does make me more environmentally aware.
  • I've enjoyed reading Sandpiper's Place for the last couple of months. It features excellent nature photography right here in Connecticut.
  • Conservacity is a blog that features interesting articles about places and events in Middletown, Connecticut.

If you haven't visited any of these blogs, be sure to visit them when you have a chance.

Pink Flamingos
These pink flamingos caught my attention on my way to work. Apparently, these people were "flocked" for giving a donation to The Portland High School athletics program. I found this to be amusing so I asked my wife to take a photo for me. Maybe I can start a new life list of artificial birds seen in Connecticut! I'll bet there's a lister out there who already thought of that idea.


Jochen said...

About that Osprey pic: See, it happend so easily to look through the camera's viewfinder instead of at the camera's viewfinder. Still a very nice picture, especially given the difficult light conditions.
Happy spring birding!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know about an atrifical bird list but I had another birder tell me the other day that he was up to 60 species on his "Dead Bird List."

Jayne said...

I think that photo is wonderful Larry. I've never seen an Osprey and he's beautiful.
LOL @ the pink flamingos!

Ruth said...

That is one enthusiastic wren! I have never seen one and don't think they are that common here. But I should remember the sound if I there is a wren about.

Lana Gramlich said...

Your osprey photo's lovely, branches or no!
We have a pair of Carolina wrens nesting in our shed right now. Actually I just posted about them today, ironically...
Thanks for recommending those sites. Birdfreak & Sandpiper are already on my "to do" list, but I'll have to check out the others.
I love the "You've been flocked!" sign.

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Thank you so much, Larry! That's so nice of you. I always enjoy visiting your blog, as well! Before we leave to go places, my husband checks your blog for sightings, too. Your osprey picture is AWESOME! I can see the detail of the eye perfectly! It sounds like you had a fantastic day at Machimoodus with a lot of great sightings. I love the sound of the wren singing in your video. I'm glad you got to see the warblers you were hoping for recently. I've been seeing pine warblers here this week. I met up with some people last week at Machimoodus who told me that they had just seen a Bald Eagle there, but it was so windy and cold that I couldn't bring myself to do a lot of walking that day. We drove by there tonight and I wanted so much to stop, but my mother was in the car.
Thank you again!

Larry said...

Sandpiper-Your blog is excellent so it's my pleasure to mention it.-Your husband checks my blog for sightings? I guess I should give a complete list once in a while.-I usually just mention a few species.-I've noticed that Machimoodus gets very cold when it is windy.

Lana-Thanks! i will be checking on your Osprey post tonight.

ruth-Don't worry-they will let you know if they're around!

jayne-I'd laugh if I found those flamingos out in my yard.-Glad you liked the Osprey.

pa-birder-Dead bird list! Some listers are funny in the way they get so obsessive about lists.

Jochen-thanks-maybe it's time for another in your series of instructional photography posts!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry,
You're welcome.

That's a nice close photo of the osprey. They're not common here, so I enjoy seeing other people's photos.

Here's my other conservation tip: I've started using my cloth grocery bags for all shopping now (the clerk at Kohls looked at me really strangely the other day when I told her I brought my own bag).

Jochen said...

I know, i know, but I currently just can't find the time or/and muse for a post, any post for that matter. Things will likely change soon though. The next one of the photography series however - when/if ever I get to write it down - will be about the right background.
We'll see. Happy birding trails!!

Mary said...

Hi Larry,

I love the photo of the Osprey. It that was your only photo of the day, it was a lucky one! They're beautiful.

Do you think Carolina Wren's are pesky? I think they're sweet, inquisitive, and LOUD, too. The songbirds I find annoying are the Tufted Titmouse and its repetitive screaming and the White Throated Sparrow has a slow, annoying, off-key whistle.

We can start a collection of blow-up birds and share them if you announce it here.

Mary :o)

Larry said...

ruthiej-That's a good one.-I plan on doing that as well-good tip.

jochen-I know you have your hands full now but I'll be looking forward to that photography post.

Mary-thanks-Now that you point it out, I didn't really mean pesky so I changed it to perky.Sometimes I miss things like that when I am tired.-thanks for pointing that out.

Patrice said...

I enjoyed listening to the Carolina Wren. I'm not sure we have them here, but now I'll know it if I hear it!

Cathy said...

That is so cute and I think you've got a great idea there.

Cathy said...

Oh! The Carolina Wren! Larry, I'm pretty distressed about our wren population. I've had Carolina wrens year-round for at least a decade. I've not heard ONE yet this year.

steadyjohn said...

Thanks, Larry, for the mention of ConservaCity. Your mention of artificial birds got me thinking and I have this video and this slide show to contribute.

Jochen said...

Got some exciting news today about which I'll probably post early next week.
Very exciting indeed!

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, that Osprey photo was great. The carlina wren makes me miss the eastern woods, and the flamingoes are a hoot! I like the way you encourage other bloggers by recommending their sites. I know it gave me a real boost when I first started blogging and it's fun to go exploring. Thanks!

Larry said...

Patrice-The Wren sure lets you know when it's around! It hasa couple of similar variations on that song and makes another sound that is nothing like the one in the video.

Cathy-Glad you like the idea and I hope your wren shortage is only temporary!

steadyjohn-Really nice bird decanter collection!-I was going to ask who emptied the whiskey bottles but you answered that in your video.If anyone reads this comment you should check out the video link in steadyjohn"s comments.

jochen-I will be very curious as to waht the news is!

Kathiebirds-reading your blog makes me wish that I could visit out west.-There are some really colorful and interesting birds out your way!

Anonymous said...

I just love this time of the year with new arrivals with each day! Great post with some different topics all in one!

Birdinggirl said...

Hi Larry, that's a great picture of the Osprey. I've only encountered them at their nests (in the man-made stands) and naturally if you have to walk nearby they get very aggressive and dive at you. Needless to say- I could benefit from some positive Osprey experiences.

I like the pink flamingos- I've seen those used before for fundraising. They're fun :)