Thursday, May 31, 2018

Salt Meadow Birding

What is certainly notable in this post is that my intent to highlight Connecticut's Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge Salt Meadow Unit did not pan out as I had hoped.


The Glossy Ibis above (image 1) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.

This presentation in part offers a chased after White-face Ibis from Hammonasset Beach State Park in April which was of course reported as a rare bird for its location and resulted in a life bird for me. This species can reliably be seen along the Texas Gulf Coast with it personally sought after unsuccessfully in the Florida Panhandle in past years. The WFIB lingered in the immediate area for weeks.


The White-faced Ibis above (image 2) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Brant above (image 3) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.

Several birding trips were made to offer fodder for your reading interest. It was much fun watching the Brant in the heavy surf as seen in the image above. The tides at Hammonasset Beach State Park have been significantly different on all of my visits to this magnificent wildlife venue.


The Sanderling above (image 4) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Glossy Ibis above (image 5) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 6) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Bobcat above (image 7) was photographed at Casa Almeida in April 2018.

The Bobcat above at a private residence in Killingworth was remarkable to see. Only outdone by a Red Fox that was observed carrying off an Eastern Gray Squirrel from the bird sanctuary.


The Golden-crowned Kinglet above (image 8) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Golden-crowned Kinglet above (image 9) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Northern Cardinal above (image 10) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Golden-crowned Kinglet above (image 11) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.

The Golden-crowned Kinglet offered great photo opportunity and interest at Hammonasset Beach State Park. It slightly compares to the Golden-crowned Warbler reported in the American Birding Association blog as an extremely rare bird seen of late in Colorado, not to mention the ABA area itself.


The Chipping Sparrow above (image 12) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Red-breasted Merganser above (image 13) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Purple Martin above (image 14) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Osprey above (image 15) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Snowy Egret above (image 16) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Light at Falkner Island above (image 17) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Greater Scaup above (image 18) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Killdeer above (image 19) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Northern Harrier above (image 20) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Tree Swallow above (image 21) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Ruby-crowned Kinglet above (image 22) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.

Bird species like Yellow-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet among warblers are most likely seen at Hammonasset at their appropriate migration periods.


The Greater Yellowlegs above (image 23) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Surf Scoter above (image 24) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Little Blue Heron above (image 25) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The American Black Duck above (image 26) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.

There was enjoyable interest in a band on one of the American Black Duck that lingered at the park at the time of my April visit. I was able to determine that the band was translucent which makes it especially unusual.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 27) was photographed at Hammonasset Beach State Park in April 2018.


The Chipping Sparrow above (image 28) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.

The mainly scenic images offered from the Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit were made with my phone. Bird activity was much more abundant on my first visit to the refuge.


The Eastern Towhee above (image 29) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.


The scene above (image 30) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.


The scene above (image 31) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.


The scene above (image 32) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.


The scene above (image 33) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.

The trails at the Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit should not be missed. It was interesting to meet a hiker from Westbrook outside of the venue that noted Chatfield Hollow Sate Park as preferred hiking grounds while unaware the sweet place in her relative backyard.


The scene above (image 34) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.


The scene above (image 35) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.


The scene above (image 36) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.

Please be sure to be reminded about this Wildlife Blog with the email gadget located at the top of the page.



The scene above (image 37) was photographed at Stewart B. McKinney NWR Salt Meadow Unit in April 2018.

The bonus image immediately below is of a Red-bellied Woodpecker that struck a window of the house on Christmas Eve. It was stunned, but survived.


The Red-bellied Woodpecker above (image 38) was photographed at Casa Almeida in December 2017.

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.

Please be sure to be reminded about this Wildlife Blog with the email gadget located at the top of the page.


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