Sunday, April 4, 2021

2 Egrets For The Price Of 1!

I took a ride down to Clinton this morning hoping to see my first egret of the year. There are 2 types of egrets that are seen regularly along the shoreline once spring arrives, the Snowy Egret and the Great Egret.
I was lucky enough to find both of them together on my first attempt! The larger of the two on the left with the orange bill is the Great Egret and the smaller one with the thinner black bill is the Snowy Egret. A great way to celebrate Easter morning! 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Spring Migration Starting At The Bog

I was out at the Helen Carlson Bog yesterday. This is a special place to visit. It is easily accessible from the road but a nice piece of bird habitat that makes me feel like I'm up in a remote part of northern New England somewhere. 

It didn't take long into my walk to see spring migration is well underway. There was at least 30 Tree Swallows, 2 Eastern Phoebes, and 2 Palm Warblers, none of which I took pictures of.
I did, however, manage to catch a Pine Warbler perched on a branch.Northern Flickers remain here throughout the winter but are nevertheless always a pleasure to see.

I'm hoping that next weekend will bring warmer weather and more neotropical migrants will start to descend from the sky and cover the trees like drops of rain.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Herons On The Nests And Superzoom cameras.

It's become kind of a local tradition for those who know where to find the heron rookery (aka heronry) to check on the status of the number of herons on the nests. It's about a half a mile walk down the hill to the flood zone of the Wangunk Meadows. If you look carefully you might be able to make out the little dark spots in the tops of those trees.
Those little dark spots are actually nests with Great Blue Herons on them. Sometimes it's amazing what a $300 dollar camera can do. The picture quality can't compete with an slr but the zoom capability is really amazing! I've had my Canon sx50 for a few years. It allows up to 50x but there is one that I saw that goes up to 125x!
 If you compare the nests in the top picture to this one it gives you an idea of how much magnification we're talking about.  The high magnification comes at a cost though. The more you zoom in the more the image degrades. On a nice sunny day it can do okay though and it sure helps people like me who hate fiddling around with camera settings.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

I Had Some Rare Sightings Along River

My favorite inland spot over the years has been the Wangunk Meadows which has a variety of habitat including open fields, marsh, woodlands and is bordered on one side by the Connecticut River.
I've seen many unusual birds over the years but seeing a seal in this far up the river so far from salt water was one of the strangest sightings I've had. I hope that it is healthy.
On the same day I heard a strange bird call coming from the opposite end of the field. They were large and not Great Blue Herons. I started scanning though my mind the possibilities as I took a picture of them taking off. I compared the sounds I hear to the Sandhill Crane and sure enough that's what they were! My first sighting of them right in Portland! They are still considered a rare sighting but have been showing up in Connecticut on occasion over the last few years. I'm glad I took the picture for verification even though it doesn't show too much detail.