I've probably seen cormorants dozens if not hundreds of times over the years. My usual reaction when I see them is to have a quick look through the binoculars and then move on to the next bird. For some reason, this particular day I had a different reaction. The first thing that caught my attention was the way the webbed feet wrapped around the edge of the beam it was standing on. Hmm, never noticed that before. I had a good look a the bill which is serrated so that it can better grip its prey. I had a good look at the tail which reminds me of one of those corrugated Chinese paper fans. Then a thought or a feeling came over me that I was looking at a species that must have been around for a very long time. I later read that cormorants had similar ancestors that dated all the way back to the time of the dinosaurs. I always thought they look pretty cool when they spread their wings out to dry. "Hey Mr. cormorant-"Where's a good spot for me to drop a line and do some fishing? " cormorant response-"I suggest you head down river about a mile and try underneath the Osprey nest."
I was on the road that leads to The Great Island Boat Launch when I saw this pheasant on the side of the road. I'm not sure what I was expecting to see at Great Island but I can tell you that a pheasant would be at the bottom of my list. It was at this point that I could imagine Forrest Gump saying-"Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you're gonna get."
I drove a little farther east towards Four Mile River boat launch in Niantic. I usually have good luck finding egrets there but on this particular morning, not a single one. What I did see was a hawk that spent 20 minutes in a tree doing warm up stretches before it finally flew off into the woods where its parents were waiting. I'm guessing this is a Cooper's Hawk since they are the more common species in Connecticut this time of the year.
It was interesting to watch it contort into such odd positions. It looks like he lost his head for the moment- Nice look at the tail here. I could come up with a better caption but I'll be polite.
I was on the Branford Trolley Trail talking to an elderly birder who was intently studying an Osprey family. Suddenly across the marsh I spotted a fawn with its mother. I should say I saw the fawn since I can't take credit for giving it spots. The birder who was with me said this was only the first time she had seen any deer here in years. As I was on my way home I looked out into a flooded farm field and saw egrets. Not just the 3 in this photo. I counted nearly three dozen of them and those were only the ones which were in my immediate view.
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This video clip gives you an idea of the number of egrets that I was seeing last Saturday. I'm not even sure which road I was on at the time.