Saturday, March 31, 2018

Indian River Marshes, Clinton, CT And More

A nice pit stop for quick or significantly longer predominantly marsh and shorebird observations can be readily made in and around Indian River Marshes on the north shore of the Long Island Sound in the town of Clinton.


The Northern Harrier above (image 1) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in February 2018.

What you may experience as you might imagine at this venue is greatly going to be influenced by the tidal action. I have found ideally timed observations are close to low tide withn the Indian River marsh.


The Great Black-backed Gull above (image 2) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in February 2018.


The Great Black-backed Gull above (image 3) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in February 2018.

This has been a fun venue to investigate without plans. While merely driving by, be sure to stop in and see what the conditions of the waters are and determine whether more than a few minutes of your time are warranted including time in the adjacent properties while respecting the private ones.


The Hooded Merganser above (image 4) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in February 2018.


The Song Sparrow above (image 5) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in February 2018.

It has been a challenge to endure harsh cold conditions this winter. I mean harsh as the body shivers all over for the mere observation of something that is certainly more tolerable of the frigid conditions on a 24/7 basis than me.


The Mourning Dove above (image 6) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.


The Hooded Merganser above (image 7) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.

Birds in this post are documented from image #1 through #18 at Indian River Marshes. I consider it unfortunate that much of what I've seen at Indian River Marshes was not photographed due to unplanned stops without the camera with otherwise exciting observations.


The Northern Mockingbird above (image 8) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.


The Canada Goose above (image 9) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.

Within a mere handful of visits to IRM it has been fortuitous to see more than a third of the species that have been documented at the venue at eBird. This is not meant to be overstated as under a hundred species have been observed by others at this locale that I'm aware of at the time of this writing.


The Red-tailed Hawk above (image 10) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.


The Canada Goose above (image 11) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.

It's a beautiful place to visit nonetheless and should not be missed if travel opportunities allow. Try for that lower tide again if you are able.


The Common Grackle above (image 12) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.


The European Starling above (image 13) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.

Included in this post beyond its intended scope is a new yard species seen before mid-March. A pair of apparent breeding Wood Duck were seen in appropriate habitat for their plans with the male cropped from an image captured of the waterfowl.


The scene above (image 14) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.


The Canada Goose above (image 15) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.

Before the month of March was over there were reports of another excitedly rare Varied Thrush in New England this year at Great Pond State Forest in Simsbury, Connecticut. I failed to see the thrush, but made an enjoyable walk around the pond with the decades old rhododendrons towering over the trail a highlight.


The Mute Swan above (image 16) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.


The Mute Swan above (image 17) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.

A pair of Brown Creepers, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and not to mention some interesting birders I spoke with were additional highlights during the chase for the thrush. At least one other birder had commented on seeing the expected variety (Hermit).


The Green-winged Teal above (image 18) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.

The scene above (image 19) was photographed at Indian River Marshes in March 2018.

The yard birds continue to provide interest for daily observations foremost with a local stop an additional reward, and that occasional long distance road trip a reminder of the greater enjoyment of being a very diligent birder.


The Wood Duck above (image 20) was photographed at Casa Almeida in March 2018.


The Brown Creeper above (image 21) was photographed at Great Pond State Forest in March 2018.

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The Canada Goose above (image 22) was photographed at Great Pond State Forest in March 2018.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Birding By The Sea

Well, this is not actually a post about birding by the sea, but birding by the Long Island Sound at Hammonasset Beach State Park.


The Bonaparte's Gull above (image 1) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in January 2018.

Images in this post are from a trip to Hammonasset in mid-January when I met world eBirders Julie Hart and Daniel Schlaepfer with four additional visits in February. Julie was kind enough to point out the Bonaparte's and Iceland Gull at our meeting in January on one of the colder days at the park this winter.


The juvenile Iceland Gull above (image 2) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in January 2018.


The juvenile Iceland Gull above (image 3) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in January 2018.


The Surf Scoter above (image 4) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in January 2018.


The Harbor Seal above (image 5) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in January 2018.


The Dunlin above (image 6) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in January 2018.


The Greater Scaup above (image 7) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in January 2018.


The Red-tailed Hawk above (image 8) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Great Blue Heron above (image 9) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-tailed Hawk above (image 10) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The White-throated Sparrow above (image 11) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Northern Mockingbird above (image 12) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.

Each visit to the park has become more rewarding as new areas are explored. There are in fact eleven "hotspots" at eBird for Hammonasset submissions although I only encourage the use of the primary one.


The Red-tailed Hawk above (image 13) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Dunlin above (image 14) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Purple Sandpiper above (image 15) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Ruddy Turnstone with prey above (image 16) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Ruddy Turnstone above (image 17) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Herring Gull above (image 18) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Ruddy Turnstone above (image 19) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Purple Sandpiper above (image 20) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Purple Sandpiper above (image 21) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Purple Sandpiper above (image 22) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Surf Scoter above (image 23) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Common Loon above (image 24) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.

It was particularly rewarding these recent visits to the park to pick up life birds while other were left for another time. I've in fact only very recently discovered a short cut that will reduce a great deal of walking along barren beach.


The Surf Scoter above (image 25) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-breasted Merganser above (image 26) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-breasted Merganser with prey above (image 27) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-breasted Merganser with prey above (image 28) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Herring Gull with prey above (image 29) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Herring Gull with prey above (image 30) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Herring Gull with prey above (image 31) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Long-tailed Duck above (image 32) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Common Goldeneye above (image 33) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Common Goldeneye above (image 34) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The 1st year Bald Eagle above (image 35) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-tailed Hawk above (image 36) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.

It was particularly interesting on these trips to Hammonasset to observe the Herring Gull at far right eat snow for its source of water as seen in image #18. All images have a rewarding memory of travels through the park.


The Red-tailed Hawk above (image 37) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The White-winged Scoter above (image 38) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Snowy Owl above (image 39) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Harbor Seal above (image 40) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Long-tailed Duck above (image 41) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Merlin above (image 42) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Cedar Waxwing above (image 43) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Cedar Waxwing above (image 44) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Cooper's Hawk above (image 45) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Great Black-backed Gull above (image 46) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Rock Pigeon above (image 47) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Cedar Waxwing above (image 48) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.

With time it is hoped that additional great rewards may be found at the park including photography of the resident Fox Sparrow.


The Black-capped Chickadee above (image 49) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-necked Grebe above (image 50) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Bufflehead above (image 51) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Downy Woodpecker above (image 52) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Horned Lark above (image 53) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Killdeer above (image 54) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-breasted Merganser above (image 55) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Surf Scoter above (image 56) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Brant above (image 57) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-winged Blackbird above (image 58) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Red-winged Blackbird above (image 59) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.


The Hooded Merganser above (image 60) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.

How many Harbor Seal can you count in image #40?.


The Mute Swan above (image 61) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.

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The Mute Swan above (image 62) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in February 2018.