Saturday, September 23, 2023

At the Shore And In The Yard

There's been a mix of things going on this time of year. I stopped by the shoreline the other day and the weather felt like perfect fall weather. A cool, dry morning in the 60's.
I was able to find a few new county birds including Ruddy Turnstone down in Westbrook. After Labor Day it's easier to get to more shoreline birding spots as rules seem to be a little less strict once the beachgoer season is over.
I haven't had a chance to look this one up in a book yet but if anyone knows their dragonflies and damselflies feel free to jump in with the answer!
When I was growing up I never saw bluebirds. Now they nest in my yard. One of life's small pleasures!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Roseate Spoonbill Was Worth Chasing!

I avoid chasing rare birds unless they show up near where I live. I even shut off the rare birds alert outside of my county so I wouldn't be tempted to drive all over the state burning gas. I am not one of the top birders that is in competition with others to build the biggest list so that is not a motivating factor. 

There are some exceptions to this rule. If: 1) The bird has been hanging around for a couple of days 2) It's a species I've never seen before and 3) It's rare for this area 4) It's a bird that interests me. (I wouldn't burn up gas to see a sparrow that looks just like another sparrow except it has a tail feather that's a centimeter longer than his cousin). 

It just so happened that someone told me that there was a Roseate Spoonbill hanging out in Milford Connecticut for several days. This a species that has only been reported in Connecticut a handful of times. I decided that this would be a bird worth chasing because it passed all 4 of my qualifiers. The Roseate Spoonbill has a pinkish color due to its diet and as you can see, has a spoon-shaped bill. What you don't see in the picture is that it makes a sweeping motion side to side when it has its bill underwater searching for food. This was one interesting bird that was worth the chase!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

4 Bird Sightings to Close Out August

I didn't do a whole of of birding in August. I read so much about killer worms, mosquitoes, ticks and amoebas that I was torn between just staying home or giving up reading. I decided on one last outing before the end of August. 

I chose to take a walk along some tracks towards a big marsh. The sign says that trains are active again on these old tracks but the overhead speed bumps would probably slow them down a little.

There have been many inland shorebirds this month including the Solitary Sandpiper which has a distinct eye ring and sort of greenish-yellow legs.
Some poor kid must have got his egret kite caught in the bushes.
There was a healthy population of Green herons in the area. This is one of four that I saw but most of them blended in too well with the surrounding for me to get a picture.
This looks like a young oriole to me. I don't have time to look it up so I'll just go with that unless someone corrects me.
There are some things that I enjoy about August but being out in the woods watching birds is not at the top of my list. I'm looking forward to September with lower temperatures and a welcome invasion of migrating hawks!

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Tree Egrets And Sandpiper At Fairgrounds

By August I am a little burned out on birding and just looking forward to fall weather. I struggle to come up with places I would like to check out factoring in heat, bugs, and an overabundance of foliage. I settled on visiting one of my old go-to spots at the Portland fairgrounds. This is a place that rarely disappoints me and you never know for sure what you might run into. This time is was great Egrets in a tree.
That was the little spark I needed to make me feel as though it was worth getting out instead of sticking around at the house doing yardwork. 

When I think about it, I enjoy fish out of water type of movies. That is probably the reason seeing Great Egrets in a tree at the fairgrounds instead of the shore makes this particular sighting  more appealing to me.

Then I turned my gaze from high up in the trees to down at ground level. A Solitary Sandpiper was practically stepping on my shoes. I think it was getting ready to untie my shoelaces!

There's always something good to see at the fairgrounds when there is water left over from the rainstorms.