Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rail Trail Offers A Close-Up View Of Birds

I went birding on a section of the Air Line Rail Trail that passes through the Raymond Brook Marsh In Hebron. Parking for the trail is located on route 85 next to route 85 lumber.The trail is popular among bicyclists, dog-walkers, birders, and photographers but the trails are wide enough that there is room for everyone.

 There is an excellent photography website by Stan Malcom titled Along The Air Line.... that features photos of scenery and wildlife taken along the trail.
 Upon entering the wooded portion of the trail, I had a terrific view of a Northern Parula . The colored band along its chest was really vibrant. Soon after that I could here numerous towhees singing in the underbrush. The one in the photo was right at the edge of the trail scratching up the leaves as it searched for its morning meal. This is a view of Raymond Marsh through which the trail passes. This entire area has excellent habitat including streams, marsh, and low-lying vegetation. There are numerous small trees bordering trail that make convenient places for birds to land. Male Red-winged blackbirds are real posers in the spring. I find it difficult to get a picture of them that shows their eyes. The Tree Swallows were constantly flying across the trail and back. It appears they have found a nesting site in this dead standing tree. There are several dead snags on this portion of the trail, it is a lot easier to view and photograph birds when they land on these things.The Yellow Warbler is one of the most common of the warbler species in Connecticut. A lot of times they stay at or below eye level which makes them easier to find than other warblers that hang out in the tops of trees.  I followed this Common Yellowthroat for about 20 minutes. It was constantly bouncing around in the bushes and skulking through vegetation that was right near my feet. It was frustrating to have it so close but not be able to take its photo. Finally, it popped out for a few seconds. Some other notable birds for the day were: Wood Ducks, Great Blue Heron, Eastern Kingbird,Yellow-throated Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, Black and White Warbler, and Blue-winged Warbler.

 The thing that makes this such a special place isn't so much the number of species you see but how well you are able to see them. This also means that you get plenty of good photo opportunities. I plan to return here and make visits to many other areas along the rail trails this year.

13 comments:

steadyjohn said...

Yes, it's all about how well you see them, and you have proved you're the master of that.

forestal said...

Looks like a great spot Larry - super photos.

dan

Kah-Wai Lin said...

Nice close up captures!

Larry said...

Steadyjohn-I don't know about all that-but thanks John.

forestal-Yes-Dan-It's worth a visit.Thanks-I was happier with these photos than what I've been able to get recently.

Kah-Wai Lin-thanks for checking in.I've been meaning to visit your blog.

MaineBirder said...

Excellent photo series Larry!

Andy Wilson said...

What a good day you had.

Frank said...

Super location Larry and plenty of photo opps as you have proved.

Tammie Lee said...

so many lovely birds... so many things to see up in the trees.

eileeninmd said...

Looks like a great place for birding. Great birds and photos.

Ruth said...

We have a long rail trail in our area. It goes for over 70 km and I have done sections, but the problem is you have to walk back to the car. Lovely photos. I have yet to see a Northern Parula.

dguzman said...

Nice work, Larry! I only have blurry photos of most warblers.

dAwN said...

The airline trail is great..We biked and birded it a few summers ago.

Lana Gramlich said...

So many wonderful photos here! We also have a "rails to trails" path in our area--runs right through the center of town, actually. We love walking and biking along there. A great idea, whoever came up with it!