Friday, February 25, 2011

The Month Rolled By & The Blog Stood Still

February seemed to pass me by in the blink of an eye. I ran into a few minor situations that threw a monkey wrench into my weekend birding. My truck broke down, my spotting scope broke, and my shed collapsed. It may sounds like a depressing country song but there was a bright side to all these things. I was able to get my money's worth out of AAA towing service, my scope was covered by a warranty, and I secretly hoped for my shed to collapse when I saw the snow piling up on the roof. I already got more mileage out of it by covering it with rustproof paint and turning the broken sliding doors into hinged doors.

On a more positive note, I saw this robin and many others eating crabapples from the trees near the parking area at Rocky Neck Sate Park.
The Mallards picked through the leftovers that fell to the ground. It was cloudy on the days I got out this month making it difficult for me to get usable photos. I made a visit to Harkness Park in Waterford. It doesn't have the variety of birds and habitat that Hammonasset does but it is a beautiful place to walk. It has large open areas with mature trees and old vine-covered buildings on the grounds. The rocky shoreline had an ocean fresh smell that made me want to break out a pot and cook up some clam chowder. The birds in the background were mostly Brant and Canada Geese and I also came across Snow Bunting .
I came across this Turkey Vulture when traveling from one place to another.
I watched Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches
under the cedar trees at Wadsworth Mansion. The titmice were the most vocal, communicating back and forth using a variety of whistling calls and noises. Mostly, I just liked standing beneath the trees because I of the way they were lined up giving a tunnel effect. I looked for easy places to do some quick birding this month. I also tried snowshoes for the first time but decided to send them back. There just aren't enough days in the winter when Connecticut has white fluffy snow. It's more often the ice-crusted variety. I tried to cross a field and it sounded like I was marching through a giant bowl of Cap'n Crunch cereal. The birds wouldn't let me get 100 yards from them. I think I might have even started a winter migration.
I saw these Common Goldeneye along the Niantic Bay trail. I was happy to find a new walking trail near the shoreline.
It's just on the other side of the train tracks. Maybe I should take up train spotting. There's one for my 2011 list. Note the grayish metallic body with blue trim. I believe the species is Amtrak. I didn't intend to take a blogger break this month, things just happened to slow me down. I'm looking forward to getting back out on the birding trail and making up for lost time.


Dostoy said...

As always, beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

Jen Sanford said...

I love the photo of the trees! And I laughed out loud at the Cap'n Crunch reference... I can totally picture it!

Hilke Breder said...

I agree with Jen: it's a gorgeous photo of the tree tunnel! Also that railroad photo is wonderful, as well as the others... You really have to enlarge them to full size to appreciate them.

Unknown said...

I thought you were about to write a country song there at the beginning.

Ruth said...

You have had an eventful month.. thankfully it is a short one too. I love the big trees!!

Larry said...

Jen-thanks-I think I would have actually preferred walking though the Cap'n Crunch versus the snow.

Hilke-thanks-I didn't have a lot of photos to choose from but I'm glad that a couple of them seem worthwhile.

birding is Fun-I thought about it but at this point I'm just trying to get back into the habit of posting something.

Ruth-It wasn't so bad-lessons learned and it's making me look forward to nicer days.

dguzman said...

It's been a rocky month for me as well, but we're finally settled into a new place and I've got my bird feeders up (just today!).

Here's to more birding in March.

Dawn Fine said...

Howdee Larry,
What a crazy month for you. Hope you had insurance and were able to get a newer better shed!
I have been to Harkness and the trail in Niantic, my sister lives close by.
Beautiful places..
Keep bloggin!
Stay warm...

Wadsworth Mansion said...

A lovely picture taken at the Wadsworth Mansion. I sat at my desk one day and observed a piliated woodpecker in the pines outside my window. At least three times a year I am rewarded with a sighting here.

Larry said...

dguzman-Good luck with your new place!
Dawn-I'm surprised that it took me so long to notice that bay trail in Niantic.
Wadsworth-There are really nice grounds at Wadsworth.It would be a great place to set up some feeders.
Pileated Woodpeckers are quite a sight.