Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do We Watch Them Or Do They Watch Us?

For the last couple of weekends I've been taking walks at various locations along the Connecticut River. As to be expected this time of year, conditions have been hot, humid. I've tried to protect myself by staying covered head to toe and dousing myself with deet, but the dastardly little bloodsuckers still manage to get me. Sometimes when I'm walking, I run face first into spider webs. When this happens I quickly brush the webs off me fearing that a spider might have landed on me. I'm glad I didn't run into the spider in the photo. I was really impressed with its size and color patterns. From what I was told, this spider might be of the Argiope variety. If you know what kind of spider this is, please let me know. I've been surprised by the number of Green Herons I've seen near the Connecticut River since the beginning of August. The swampy areas near the river are rich in food sources for the herons. This photo of the heron in this tree was taken at George Dudley Seymour Park in East Hampton. It was making loud shracking sounds to warn a second heron on the opposite side of the swamp that I was approaching the area. This was a reminder that birds and wildlife watch us as much as we watch them. The difference being that they have to stay aware of their surroundings in order to survive. I do wonder if they sometimes watch us for no other reason than curiosity.
Do you think this truck would qualify for the "Cash For Clunkers program" ?
I frequently walk a trail which passes through Wangunk Meadows in Portland. It's a good area for birding but is littered with abandoned cars and trash. Much of the land through this stretch is broken up into parcels belonging to multiple owners. Some small parcels of land have been purchased for conservation purposes but trying to buy more of this land for conservation is difficult because there are so many different land owners.
I've seen hundreds of frogs along the Wangunk meadow Trails this month. I believe many of them are Leopard Frogs. Since these herons have showed up, hundreds of frogs have become dozens of frogs. I wonder how many were eaten by the Green Herons and Blue Herons? Green Herons are one of the few species that make use of tools. They have been seen dangling bait on the surface of the water to attract prey.
Some of the notable birds I've been seeing at the meadows include Solitary Sandpipers (above), Bobolinks, 1 Worm-eating Warbler, 1 Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, 12 northern Flickers, 3 -Blue-winged Warblers, 3 Great Egrets, 3 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Great Blue Herons, 4 Wood Ducks, Willow Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher, 4 -Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and during one visit-20- Indigo Buntings.
I enjoyed watching this young Bald Eagle trying to pry some food (can't figure what it is) from this grassy area at the Portland Fairgrounds. When I'm watching birds like this eagle it sometimes occurs to me that we are not so different from the birds that we watch. We go about things differently but in the end we are both doing our best to survive.
click to play
I enjoyed watching the way this young eagle hopped and lumbered around looking for food.


Jayne said...

How fun to see that young eagle bobbing along trying to learn how to find food! Funny to imagine the Green Herons frog fishing. ;c)

Ruth said...

Good for you, venturing out in the heat amongst the mosquitoes and spiders. We have a lot of Green and Black-crowned Night Herons locally this year, (in nice city parks!)

Helen said...

Sounds like you are seeing a lot of birds. The video was great of the Bald Eagle hunting for food. It needed one of the frogs those heron were fishing for. Great pictures.

Blessed With Four said...

I have never seen a young eagle such as you have showed us, only seen mature ones. Neat to see what they look like as younglings before the maturity occurs - lucky you for getting to see such sights. My 40 hour a week job keeps me tied to the desk way too much, sigh, that being said I am thankful for the income it provides and one day I too will have the time to stomp around the countryside and snap pictures of God's awesome creation. Until them I will keep returning to blogs such as yours to enjoy the journey along side u - thanks so much for sharing!!!

Dawn Fine said...

I get the same feeling when i walk into those webs while hiking..
never know if there is a spider attached..
Great pics of the herons..I clicked on them..nice detail
the car would not qualify..nope..needs to be running.

Nice eagle footage!
See ya around..
keep that lawn mowed!

Lana Gramlich said...

I know what you mean about webs & hikes. I used to break of a tall stalk of goldenrod to kind of wave in front of me as I walked, to clear the path of spider webs (due to my own fear of ending up with them on my face.)
Thanks for sharing the video--rockin!

Larry said...

Jayne-I doubt they had to fish for the frogs-they were everywhere---at first.

Ruth-I would find it interesting to see them in city Parks.They must be a little more brave up your way.

madcobug-I don't know what the eagle was picking out of the grass-it looked like a cowpie or something.

Blessed-I think getting out there and taking walks is much more pleasent in the fall.

Dawn-How do you know the car's not running.Just needs a little gas to get it going.

Lana-Good idea about using a stick in places like that.

MaineBirder said...

Very nice photos Larry!

If you can get that truck running before the "Cash for Clunkers" program ends on Monday, you may be in luck.

Dawn Fine said...

hee hee...u r funny Larry!
Would love to take a drive in that truck. might need to fix the hood so u can see over the front! ☼

Kathie Brown said...

You sure do get around and see all kinds of birds! I never knew half these species existed when I was growing up there!

fern said...

Beautiful green herons. I'm not sure I've ever seen one, though I have noticed plenty of great blue herons on Lake Lillinoah when i was kayaking last weekend....

and 20 indigo buntings?? that must've been a sight to see. There was a single indigo bunting that was hanging around my bird feeder for several weeks 2 summers ago, and that was a special treat. I'm not even sure they're seed eaters, but perhaps they were attracted by all the activity by other birds at the feeder.

Larry said...

fern-Yes it was nice to see so many Indigo Bunings but only a handful were males. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Larry said...

Indigo Buntings do east seeds.I think millet workds pretty good for them.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely selection of photos, specially the green heron