Outside of a few showers, the weather was nice and we had a terrific time together playing cards, listening to music, enjoying the fire-all that fun camping stuff. I didn't attempt to do much birding but some species that caught my attention were Black-throated Green Warblers, singing Brown Creepers, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and a singing Winter Wren.
When did bicyclists lose their fear of automobiles?
I noticed that there were a lot of bicyclists in the area. I like to see people riding bikes. It's a good way to keep in shape and it's much better for the environment than driving a car. One thing seems to have changed over the years though. It use to be that people riding bikes were expected to stay as close to the side of the road as possible in order to avoid being hit by a car. When I used to ride a bike years ago, a driver would lay on his horn if you were too far out towards the middle of the road. Now it seems to be the other way around. I often see groups of bicyclists riding in the middle of the road with seemingly no fear of automobiles. The drivers of the cars are expected to wait until the bicyclists are good and ready to move over before the car is allowed to pass. This is not a major complaint of mine, just an observation.
Pleasant Valley Drive-in Theater-I passed a drive-in theater on my way to the campground and decided to check it out the following day. There used to be numerous drive-in theaters in Connecticut, but now there are only two remaining: The Mansfield Drive-in and Pleasant Valley Drive-in. I decided to remove the section of the post that was previously here).
After returning home from our camping trip I checked on one of my local patches, Wangunk Meadows in Portland. It seemed that many of the birds here were also telling me to get out. As I passed by a patch of thickets there was a family of Common Yellowthroats yakking at me.
Notice both the female and male yellowthroats have their bills open and you know what their message is-"Get Out"!
Other birds that complained of my presence included Spotted Sandpipers, Yellow Warblers, and an endless supply of Gray Catbirds. I'm not sure if the gray Catbird wanted me to get out too or they were just looking for an excuse to show off their repertoire of nonsensical songs. They do seem to enjoy making noise. A couple of other interesting birds I saw there were an adult Bald Eagle and a Willow Flycatcher. Sort of at the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size but they both chase after prey.
I also made a visit to Hammonasset on Sunday morning. One of the first species I saw were Cedar Waxwings. They were acting like flycatchers as they swooped out over the pond to feed on flying insects.
I ran into a couple of birders who had seen a Tri-colored Heron there that morning. I spent an hour searching for it hoping to get my first glimpse of one but didn't have any luck. I took a photo of this Great Egret just because it was there for me to see. The bright sunlight glared off the back of the bird and a green goblin got in my way just as I was taking the photo. I like its pose and the way the feathers are showing on its wings though.
I did manage to see plenty of Glossy Ibises, Willets, and this adult Little Blue Heron. The adults are dark grayish birds and have a grayish bill with a dark tip. The immature birds are white with dark wing tips.
click to play
I captured some video footage of the Little Blue Heron hunting for food. At the very end of the video, a tern plunges into the water. Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!