Sunday, March 17, 2019

Eagles and Ducks On Connecticut River

I can start to sense Spring Coming along the Connecticut River. New birds like Killdeer and Osprey are starting to show up.
I continue to keep my eye an eye on the Bald Eagles.....
..and the Bald Eagles keep an eye on the ducks (Ring-necked).

Side note: I had to replace my 8 year old laptop with a new one. The HP seemed like a good deal when I bought it but a lot of programs that used to come with it for free aren't free any more. By the time the sales person started adding all the options of extended warranty, virus protections, and programs I need the price doubled. I decided to take my chances opt for free programs that I found on-line. It has taken me a while to figure all that stuff out. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

From Pristine Pines To Back Store Vultures

 You never know for sure where the good bird locations are going to be. Ideally, I would like to be in a setting where there are crystal clear streams and towering pines. I was recently at such a place but the only birds I could find there were a few titmice, a downy, and the always curious Black-capped Chickadees.
 I had better luck at this mud puddle of a fairground pond.I saw 18 Northern Pintail here one morning which is the most I've seen in one place.
Yesterday I found 35 Black Vultures hopping around on the ground, dumpster diving, and perching on the rooftops.
Unfortunately it wasn't in that pristine setting I desired. I found them in back of a big box discount store.These birds go where the food is. Watching their antics brought to mind the phrase "Eats like a vulture". 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

If It Weren't For Pictures I Would Have Forgotten

 I try to keep up with blogging once a week even when it's busy but I really couldn't remember anything memorable during my recent outings. It wasn't until I downloaded photos that I remembered a beautiful winter morning along the Connecticut River.
The sun illuminating the hay covered brush piles reminded me of the story of Rumpelstiltskin who could spin straw into gold. There ere lots of sparrows in the pile that my camera could not keep up with.
Not far down the road was this old wooden shed. Now that I see it I can remember the scene giving me a feeling of calmness.
 Just across the street turkeys were gathering for breakfast.
 I drove a little further into the country for a stop at Leesville Dam.
 I don't know if the Common Merganser could see his reflection because it looks like his eyes are closed (more like just a bad photo).
At Machimoodus Park someone had dropped a little birdseed to keep the Juncos busy.

The pictures were a reminder to me that I actually saw and experienced more than I could remember. Sometimes special moments in life are made up of quick snapshots that are easily forgotten if you don't take the time to remember.

Monday, February 4, 2019

It's Not What You See But How You See It

This time of the year the Connecticut shoreline is a great place to find sea ducks. Based on difficulty of finding one, my duck of the day was the Long-tailed Duck but....................
......I would forfeit my sighting of the Long-tailed Duck in favor of the beautiful view I had of this Red-breasted Merganser!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

eBird Target Species Add Fun To Common Birds

 As I mentioned before, finding foy (first of year) birds for your year list adds a little excitement to seeing some of the more common birds in your area.I spent a little time walking around the border of the old brownstone quarries.
I try to make a habit of entering my local bird sightings on eBird. Under the explore button of eBird there is a link called target species hich allows you to generate a list of birds that you haven't recorded yet for the year.You can also generate a wish list of birds you have never seen in your lifetime.I use it to keep track of county birds. It made this common Song Sparrow a real prize for the day!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

If Robins Can Take It Then So Can I?

We had a couple of days when the temperature reached 10 below zero with the wind  chill factor. Along with it we had an ice storm which dropped a lot of branches and knocked out power.
Some people think that robins disappear to return in the spring. Actually, they are around all winter eating mostly berries. They are pretty tough to endure this kind of weather but I wonder if this one is looking forward to warmer days?
If the robins can take it then I guess I owe it to them to go out and find them even if it is belowww zzzzero!

Skunkheads At The Shore

 I'mve managed to get out for short trips on the weekend. This is at Saybrook point.
Some call these Surf Scoters "Skunkheads". It was pretty windy so getting distant photos was tricky.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Everywhere Is A Birding Hotspot In January

 For those of us who keep a list of birds, January is an excellent month. As you start your fresh list each January 1st, every place you go becomes a birding hotspot.
Each bird you see becomes the first of the year. That means even your local park is filled with brand new species for your year list. 

Some may wonder "why bother keeping a list of birds?". If you think about it all we need to survive is food and shelter. Everything else is just about using our senses and sense of purpose to entertain or fulfill ourselves in some way.
So in January every bird counts whether it be an eagle, a mockingbird, or even the unpopular European Starling.