Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Over The Bridge And Down The River

I took a walk across the Arrigoni Bridge this weekend. It is a steel arch bridge which opened in 1938 connecting the towns of Portland and Middletown. Sometimes the bridge offers an interesting viewpoint from which to observe birds. It's also much easier to drive across the river if you use the bridge.
Peregrine Falcons are sometimes seen perching on the Arrigoni Bridge or the old railroad bridge. This is a view looking south down the Connecticut River with a portion of Middletown in view on the right.
Just across the bridge in Middletown is the locally famous O'rourke's Diner. It's been in business since 1941 and was recently featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I had my first steamed cheeseburger at O'rourke's back around 1970. Their breakfast menu offers a great variety of choices. On Sunday I ordered eggs over easy and vegetable hash topped with horseradish sauce.
Do you know of a restaurant that has been around forever and brings back memories?
If you take a short walk behind the diner you'll find Riverside Cemetery. It has been there since the 1600's and has an interesting history. You can read more about it on Connecticut Museum Quest.
I made a brief stop at Harbor Park to have a quick look around. This grackle was already panting from the heat by 8am.
I followed the Connecticut River down to Saybrook Point. I saw a Snowy Egret and what looked to be a Little Blue Heron in a distant tree.
I was in no hurry to go any where so I ventured further along the rocks to a small marsh pond. I stood there near some tall grass for about 20 minutes when the Little Blue Heron decided to drop in for a visit, or maybe I was the visitor.
I assumed this was a Wood Duck but it looked a little different to me. I thought it was a female at first but realized after looking in a field guide that it is a male without the exotic colors it displays during breeding plumage.
It's always nice to see the Osprey when you're down at the shore. Before you know it they'll be gone again.
click to play
This is a short video of the LBH preening itself. It turns out that the error messages I was getting the last couple of weeks only applied to uploaded videos that I was attempting to preview. The videos still work once they are published despite the error messages. I also figured out how to trim and compress quicktime clips that the Panasonic video uses. I'm hoping that I can adjust the settings on quicktime pro to improve the video image in the future but it's nice to at least have it working again.


Lana Gramlich said...

Actually I haven't stayed still long enough to know any local history. Not to mention that Hurricane Katrina decimated a lot of local "history." Love the little blue heron, btw!

Ruth said...

I have never seen a Little Blue Heron. Nice pictures! Yes, I could give you a classic restaurant tour in our region.

Chris Petrak said...

I've gotten way behind on my blog reading, so please accept a broad comment - your camera eye for the birds is wonderful! - like the crow in this post, the female RW, the willet. And I love this bridge - interesting from every angle.

Larry said...

Lana-I've lived in the same general area for a long time.Luckily we haven't had to deal with many hurricanes recently but form what I've seen on PBS specials the hurricane of 38 was pretty devestating to this area.

Ruth-I just saw my first LBH a couple of years ago-I haven't seen a Tri-colored Heron yet-that would be a good one for this year.

Chris-Trying to keep up with reading blogs can be difficult even if you had a lot of extra time on your hands which most of us don't.I appreciate your comments.

steadyjohn said...

I agree that using the bridge is the best way to drive across the river; lacking an amphibious vehicle that is. My video impression of driving the Arrigoni Bridge is here:

Larry said...

I considered the amphibious vehicle but they're not very good on gas. Nice song and video of the bridge crossing. I hope you weren't driving, shooting video and playing the piano all at the same time.

Steadyjohn said...

LOL I admit to the driving and video work; I left the music to an expert; Butch Thompson, I believe.

Larry said...

Hey Larry, I found your blog via Lana's BPW post. You have some great shots here. I really like the Little Blue Heron and the male Wood Duck in eclipse plumage. Very cool!

Harold Stiver said...

Looks like you had a great day of birds. I wonder if Little Blue Heron are starting to expand northward? They seem to have more post breeding wanderers anyway.

Great stuff!!

Kathie Brown said...

I have driven across that bridge many times in my life. Perhaps I will be able to do so again soon. We are moving back to the east coast, though not to CT, but rather Massacusetts. My husband got another job transferr. Though I am reluctant to leave the desert that I love, I am looking forward to birding New England for more than just a couple of weeks in the summertime!

As for a restaurant that has been around for awhile, check out Hank's Dairy Bar on Rt. 12 in Plainfield, CT. They have the best whole belly fried clams, as well as great ice cream. There is also Harry's Place in Colchester on Rt. 85 just north of the town green which is known for its seafood and hamburgers, but I believe you already know about that one!

Andy said...

I do not always comment so I'd thought I would comment! :)

Dawn Fine said...

Howdee ..

I like andys comment..good one andy..

Looks like you are enjoying your new camera. Nice photos.
Have you tried uploading to utube instead of directly to blogger?

I am planning a BwBTC outing end of August..let me know if you are interested.

Kathie..from Sycamore canyon is moving back to the area..i want her to get excited about moving back to the area..I know it is difficult for her to leave Arizona.

Not sure where yet..maybe CT, Ma, RI or NY.

Larry said...

Harold-Thanks-Seems to be plenty of LBH around CT this summer.

Kathiebirds-I know Harry's Place well. Too bad you have to leave behind that awesome birding area but Massachusetts is close to plenty of good birding areas.

Andy-I thought about leaving a comment on your blog and you know they say it's the thought that counts! :) -seriosly though-I don't know where you found that butterfly but it has spectacualr colors!-and like the Saltmarsh Sparrow photo came out great!

Dawn-I'd be interested but it depends which day and how far. Somehow I think it is connected with youtube in some way.Not sure what I 'm doing with the video yet.I'll keep experimenting to see if I can get it right. Like the camera though.