My wife, Joan, joined me for some casual birding on Saturday. She was impressed with the 8 Wilson's Snipe and several Killdeer that we saw at The Portland Fairgrounds. I pulled my truck up so that she would have a good view of the flooded grassy area. I enjoyed listening to her descriptions of the field marks as she called them out. She noted the stripes on the head and back of the snipe, as well as the long bill. Durham Meadows was our next stop. Joan was thrilled by the sight of several Great Blue Herons, which she saw in the trees through a spotting scope. She didn't know right away what they were and I wasn't going to tell her. "An egret?" - "No, not an egret." - "Great Blue Herons, right?" - "Now you're getting the hang of it!" Unfortunately, I didn't manage to capture any photos on Saturday. On Sunday I went to have a look at a place called Pease Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon, Connecticut. It looks like a decent place but I think that I went there about a month too early. I realized my mistake and moved on quickly before wasting any more time there.
I took a ride to the Old Lyme area to see how the Osprey were coming along. I made a short stop at Great Island Wildlife Management Area. This area was dedicated to Roger Tory Peterson, a resident of Old Lyme. There are a lot of Osprey nesting platforms out there and every one I could see was occupied (too far away to take any pictures). The Osprey in the above photo is actually from a place called the Four Mile River Boat Launch, also in Old Lyme. This place isn't particularly known for its birding but I've had good luck spotting herons and egrets there in the past.
I was not disappointed today. Apparently, there was a Snowy Egret convention going on. I saw my first Snowy Egrets of the year, a total of sixteen of them! There was a large group across the small river. They were flying from one side to the other. I found out that they are a threatened species in Connecticut, so this was an encouraging sight. An interesting habit of the Snowy Egret is that they use one foot to stir up food from the bottom in order to flush prey into view. I took a nice video of them but blogger is not cooperating. Fortunately, the birds were. Now bring on the warblers!