Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail

Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve is located in Milford, Connecticut only minutes from I-95 and dozens of other highly valued birding venues.


The American Wigeon above (image 1) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.


The Pied-billed Grebe above (image 2) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.


The Mallard above (image 3) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.

Images presented in this blog article were capture on a pair of visits made to the trail, one in late October and one in late November. While the preserve constitutes nearly 36 acres, I would make my observations from one primary point overlooking the main pond behind the elementary school.


The Mallard above (image 4) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.


The American Wigeon above (image 5) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.


The American Wigeon above (image 6) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.

Once taking a gander at the waterfowl that seems omnipresent on the water's surface, it pays to be looking skyward for bird activity flying overhead. eBird data indicates 181 species at this serene venue as of this writing.


The Turkey Vulture above (image 7) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.


The American Wigeon above (image 8) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.


The Red-tailed Hawk above (image 9) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in October 2017.

A future visit will certainly allow for a more thorough exploration of the property. The trail appears to primarily offer views of the main pond, although the four other primary ponds appear to be accessible.


The Hooded Merganser above (image 10) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in November 2017.


The Gadwall with American Wigeon above (image 11) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in November 2017.

Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve should definitely be on your itinerary when traveling through the area.


The Mallard with American Coot above (image 12) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in November 2017.


The American Wigeon above (image 13) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in November 2017.

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The Hooded Merganser above (image 14) was photographed at Mondo Ponds Nature Preserve Trail in November 2017.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Feature: Stratford Point, Connecticut

While the Stratford Point Light remains the property of the United States Coast Guard, and has very limited access save a day or two during the year, the green space to its immediate north is maintained by Audubon Connecticut.


The Common Loon above (image 1) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.

This land offers a stunning coastal grassland area near the mouth of the Housatonic River which has of this writing 282 species of bird observed according to eBird data. It was my hope to visit Stratford Point and observe the LeConte's and Clay-colored Sparrows seen a day earlier at the venue.


The Herring Gull above (image 2) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Mallard above (image 3) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Brant above (image 4) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Brant above (image 5) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Song Sparrow above (image 6) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.

It was unfortunate to miss such rare species even with the added eyes of many experienced birders, but I was able to nonetheless add Red-throated Loon, Field Sparrow, and Brant as life bird species observed.


The Savannah Sparrow above (image 7) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Song Sparrow above (image 8) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Double-crested Cormorant above (image 9) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The House Sparrow above (image 10) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The House Sparrow above (image 11) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Vesper Sparrow above (image 12) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.

Stratford Point is unquestionably a wildlife venue that would not disappoint a visitor at any time of year. It was with good fortune that I was also able to see abundant butterfly activity. The unsuccessful attempt by a Merlin to capture a migrating Monarch Butterfly will not easily be forgotten.


The Field Sparrow above (image 13) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Merlin above (image 14) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Merlin above (image 15) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Common Yellowthroat above (image 16) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The White-tailed Deer above (image 17) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The House Sparrow above (image 18) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.

There was the neat coincidence to meet up with a fellow birding enthusiast named Paul whom I had met at Donald W. Barnes Boat Launch earlier in the year. Another birder told me of the nearby Mondo Ponds which I investigated enjoyably before making the trek back along the highway.


The Monarch Butterfly above (image 19) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The American Crow above (image 20) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Orange Sulpher Butterfly above (image 21) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Great Black-backed Gull above (image 22) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Great Black-backed Gull above (image 23) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Ring-billed Gull above (image 24) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.

Stratford Point is unquestionably a must visit venue when in the area. Have all of your accoutrements with you including bins, scope and camera if available. A scope would have been especially helpful to me if I had it to assist in identifying a large flock of gulls.


The Red-throated Loon above (image 25) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Field Sparrow above (image 26) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Painted Lady Butterfly above (image 27) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Song Sparrow above (image 28) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.


The Milkweed bug nymphs above (image 29) were photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.

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The Common Buckeye Butterfly above (image 30) was photographed at Stratford Point in October 2017.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Be Sure To Be An eBirder

Somewhere between the Arctic and Southwest Florida is a place to relax and do some good birding.


The Eastern Bluebird above (image 1) was photographed at Casa Almeida in September 2017.

One of those great places to bird is in Killingworth, Connecticut. With the ability to observe action at a leisurely pace, typically 15 minutes before sunrise and beyond with a desire to increase my bird list, it has been great fun to document my sightings. In fact, immediately after my last report I had the good fortune to see a "double-crested" Eastern Bluebird.


The American Goldfinch above (image 2) was photographed at Casa Almeida in September 2017.

Leisurely here doesn't mean to imply that birding fails to require a large degree of effort. A typical morning has averaged more than a few hours of observation. There is sometimes a surprise or two that breaks up the routine such as the incidental when glancing out the window to observe an unusually large count of 15 Northern Flicker seeking sustenance in the lawn and flower beds which occurred the day of this publication.


The Rose-breasted Grosbeak above (image 3) was photographed at Casa Almeida in September 2017.

Much time has additionally been devoted to making reports to eBird. You are invited to check out the lion's share of wildlife images processed this month that are available to view there. In the coming months I will be evaluating my continued membership with Pbase.


The American Goldfinch above (image 4) was photographed at Casa Almeida in September 2017.

If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage you to investigate eBird and contribute your observations to it. It is a magnificent resource of give and take. My thanks to eBirders Greg Hanisek and Tom Obrock for assisting me in correctly identifying several birds this month.


The Eastern Wood-Pewee above (image 5) was photographed at Casa Almeida in September 2017.


The Black-throated Green Warbler above (image 6) was photographed at Casa Almeida in September 2017.

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The Eastern Phoebe above (image 7) was photographed at Casa Almeida in September 2017.