Sunday, June 23, 2019

First Summer Weekend Shore Tour

 We had beautiful weather for the first official weekend of the summer. I decided to visit the central shoreline where there were still several bird species I have not yet seen this year.
 I haven't done a lot of reading lately but I've noticed these little free libraries popping up everywhere. What a great idea! You can take a book to read for free and leave a book that you've already had the pleasure of reading (or not reading). It's the 10th anniversary of the start of the little free library. You can read about the history of its beginnings here: Little Free Library.
 I stopped by to see my old cottage at Cornfield Point. I never owned it but I can't tell you how many times I used it as a landmark while out on the sound in my fishing boat.
 There are so many Osprey down at the shore these days that I wouldn't have time to count them all. It's a good problem to have.
 Also numerous are the egrets. Here is the Great Egret enjoying a little morning snack. 
 Here is a Snowy Egret proudly showing off his posture.
 There were about 2 dozen oystercatchers along side the egrets. I saw them all in an area called Pilot's Point. It is a great place to get up close to the birds during low tide. They are so busy eating that they aren't easily spooked.
Yellow-crowned Night Herons are a little more difficult to find but I've been able to find them in Clinton the last few years.

So it was a nice start to the summer for me. Gorgeous weather and 4 new species for the year: Little Blue Heron Yellow-crowned Night Heron, American Oystercatcher, and Least Tern. 

How did you spend your first weekend of the summer?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

No Bird No Body No Focus No Eyes No Tail

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks. If I don't have anything interesting to say, I count on an interesting photo to help me tell a story. If a photo is good enough then I don't have to say anything. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words. It seems that recently the photos fell short of inspiring me to write a post.

This bridge photo was taken in the wee hours of the morning.I wanted to write about how it was a beautiful area that didn't have a big variety of birds but was a great place to find Acadian Flycatchers. I heard them and got a glimpse of one but no photo and no post.
I took a couple of head shots of a Great Egret and............
a Great Blue Heron but they didn't come out as I hoped so that was the end of that post.
 I heard a Bobwhite calling and was excited about it since few Bobwhites exist in the wild in Connecticut. This one was standing on a fence post singing the Bobwhite song. It might have been raised by someone and released but I love  seeing and hearing it sing that clear 2 note song. I was only able to get a photo that was good for identification.
Boat-tailed Grackle singing in the rain. Can you see him? That's great but I don't know if he can see you without any eyes!
Not a bad Red-winged Blackbird photo except for one minor detail. For 5 points can you tell what part of the bird got cut off in this picture?
I found a pink lady slipper! If only it were a bird! Maybe it will give me good luck for next weekend!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Just Another Big Black Bird From A Distance.

 Birding is a great hobby but one of the drawbacks is you are constantly scanning the area looking for birds even when you're driving. I was passing by a city pond when a black bird caught my eye (note the arrow). Of course I had to turn my car around so that I could go back and take a closer look.
Double-crested Cormorants look like just some big black bird from the distance but they have some interesting features when you get a closer look. I think the spiky tail, aqua-colored eyes and distinct hooked bill are some of my favorite features of this prehistoric-looking bird.  They are related to the frigatebirds and boobies. Not everyone is fond of them, especially around fishing areas because they consume a lot of fish but I find them to be interesting.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Can Birds Ruin Our Connection With Nature?

 You might wonder how birds could possibly ruin our connection to nature? Birds should help to enhance our connection with nature. Unless, we become too obsessed with birding.
 If my only goal was to find the most bird species, I would probably pass over the chance to go hiking at a little known mountain laurel preserve. Instead, I would opt for a sure thing, where I knew there would be lots of birds.
 Finding a hidden towhee or two wouldn't be enough to satisfy my birding appetite. Then I remembered the thrill of seeing a towhee for the first time. It amazed me that these birds had always been around, yet I'd never seen one! I was probably hiking in a place just to enjoy the beauty of the landscape at the time.
 There was a time that being deep in the forest enjoying the sound of a brook spilling down the steep, wooded hillside would be enough to give me that thrill of nature. 
The sound of a Yellow-throated Vireo singing in the background would only enhance that experience.

 If we become focused only on tallying birds we may forget to appreciate the beauty of the habitat that surrounds us. Without it, there would be no birds, and their would be no us.