Saturday, October 29, 2022

Never A Dull Duck On A Dinky Pond

This is a small pond with a trail that runs around it call Highland pond preserve. It is not very big or a pond that you would want to swim in but fortunately, it was protected from development. This pond, although small, has turned up some less common ducks over the last few years. It's a nice spot that's only 10 minutes from my house.

I spent some time looking up into the trees trying to identify tiny fast-moving birds. The challenge was that newly falling leaves kept throwing me off the track!

The main feature of this preserve is the pond itself. On this particular morning I saw about a dozen Wood Ducks, Mallards, my first American Coot of the year, and this somewhat dull looking duck. I almost overlooked it but I realized it was a little different from the others. I wasn't confident with identifying this as a male Gadwall until I checked my photos. That's not a prize find by any means but still not a duck you see every day or in every pond. it just shows you how important it is to protect natural habitat wherever you can.

Monday, October 24, 2022

The In-Town Birding Trifecta Factor

Birders(including me)sometimes fall into the trap of only visiting hotspots that have a large area with a variety of habitat because it provides the most potential for seeing a larger variety of species. Often, this requires more travel time and the burning up gasoline which has been very expensive this year.

What about one of those nice little parks in town? A lot of time we just pass right by them thinking there may not be enough birds there  to make it worth while. Sounds harsh, but I'm just being honest.

But what if we made a stop at 2 or more of these small parks that are in close proximity of each other? You may only see 10-20 species at each park but maybe you might exceed 30 species if you combine all 3!  

That is just what I did the other day with my first stop being at a roadside pond. I spent 15 minutes viewing from one spot. this was the only place out of the 3 that I saw a great Blue Heron, Mallards, and...this Carolina Wren!
My next stop was at a little nature garden. I spent 30 minutes taking a stroll along the paths and it turned out that this was the only place I ended up seeing American Goldfinches and a Northern Mockingbird!
My final stop was at a land trust which yielded my only Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the day!

When you think about it birds don't stay within the borders of any one park or nature center so why should we?
(Note: blogger was behaving very badly so I had to place the pictures and text in an order that was not of my choosing).

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Always Looking For New Places

Whenever I am driving I keep my eyes open for nature areas that I haven't visited before. During peak migrations I am hesitant to try these types of places because migrating birds come so fast and furious that I like to go to for the sure bets aka "birding hotspots".

Now that I've seen most of what I can see for this year I can take more time to explore and try new places. I've passed by a road may times in Higganum that had a stream running along side it that always had my curiosity. I finally took a drive down the road and lo and behold there was  a tiny little park with a trail at the bottom! 
It had a beautiful little waterfall that looked so nice in the fall setting.
I followed the trail past the marsh down to an old railroad trestle along the Connecticut River. It was foggy when I first got there.... 
..but the fog soon lifted and gave me a nice view of the Connecticut River. I saw a Great Egret on the opposite shore which was too far away to take a picture of.
When you're at a scenic new place even an ordinary Downy Woodpecker is a bird worth stopping to admire!

Saturday, October 8, 2022

As Leaves Turn Color Birds Are Everywhere!

Fall might be my favorite season with the clean fresh air, smell of burning wood, and of course the brilliant colored leaves! 

It is also a great time of the year to be out birding. This week birds seemed to be everywhere!                                        There were doves on wires.There are lots of sparrows around like this Savannah Sparrow perched on a fence.                      Great Blue Herons are blocking the roads!                   .................and Falcons were on branch patrol!

I wish fall could stay just like this for a few months but it always feels too short!