Bald Eagles have been returning to Connecticut in growing numbers each year. In 1979 a count along the Connecticut river, up through Massachusetts, found only 9. The newest figures I found were 100 eagles spending the winter along the river.
Yesterday I bumped into this one.
We had around 2 feet of snow on the ground, temperatures in the 20’s, and a steady wind. The Connecticut river is frozen, some open spots are around. They have ducks! Just what a hungry eagle likes to see.
I saw him fly across the river, settle in a tree, and had no access to the river from where I was.
What I did have was a new 500mm lens. So I found a spot on the river, focused way down on the eagle and waited.
At one point I’m fairly sure he fell asleep. I turned numb, and waited.
Finally….. I took the shot anyway. The distance was around 1/2 mile. Pays to have a good lens (and gloves with little finger holes).
The eagles are back because Connecticut cleaned the rivers and marshes. Access to river banks are few, most wooded again. I like that they are back. I also have another couple of months to sneak around the river bank for that perfect shot.
In a previous post I showed viewers one of the local fresh water marshes, frozen at this time year. Rather cold and almost intimidating.
I went back a few days later to see if I could find a trail around the marsh towards the river. I did find a hidden path and it took me to the banks of the mighty Matabesett.
Best to explain a New England river to our long distance readers. If you can’t jump across, it must be a river. Matabesett is a little bigger, only 16 miles long, but fairly narrow in some places. There are marshes along the way to confuse where the river bank really is.
Maine, the large New England state, has many ‘ponds’. The Mediterranean would be a ‘pond’ in Maine.
Not being a native New Englander I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.
The images here are from my walk along the trails by this river named for a native American tribe (also known as “Black-hill Indians”) that inhabited the Middletown Connecticut area.
Yesterday afternoon the tree tops around here were filled with the locals. Snow on the ground from the last storm, more in the air, and what was being advertised as a winter storm adventure just about here. I couldn’t count the small Junco’s on the ground stocking up on food.
The storm did hit, but more like a typical New England blizzard, not the history making monster we were told. No complaints here though. None!
I tried to keep all my shots in the tree tops. I’m learning a new ‘super telephoto’ lens, and using only the back button focus method with it. This means I missed most of the opportunities for good shots. At one point I completely forgot to focus correctly and was sure I had broken something!
The little ‘fast movers’ did stay around long enough for a few long distance pictures though.
They were back today, but there was a storm after all so most of the day was digging out. With luck the wind will stop tonight and I can get out and about tomorrow.
They show up in New England the same time every year. Staying here for the winter. They go back north April 15th. No really…. I have marked it on the calendar for years. They live in Canada so maybe the date has something to do with taxes.
Cornell University has tracked them to be in over 90% of the back yards in the Northeast in every years annual bird count. In Connecticut you will find one or two in mid November. Look outside after the first snow storm and there are suddenly dozens zooming around. They can even stand up to the House Sparrow at feeders.
This one sat on a bush, not carrying about the snow coming down. So here he is.
Around here we don’t even see them any more. They are here, but we look through them.
When a large bird flies over we all look up fast, then…..”It’s just a Seagull” and move on. What type of gull? Most of us don’t really know.
They really are incredible birds. Acrobats of the bird world. Throw some food in the air and it will never hit the ground. The food will likely be grabbed by several gulls before it’s eaten. They are fast, loud, and entertaining.
I went out several times in the last week and all I found were some gulls. I watched them, and now I’m going to pay more attention to them.
Every type that lives around here came all at once. Which means some chased others, pictures were taken, and way too many missed.
The larger black and white Hairy Woodpecker came in a small loud flock. I didn’t know they would travel that way.I also was unaware of how much noise they could make. Not a single clear shot of any unfortunately.
Same with the two Flickers. But I know they will be back. They seem to live here.
Still I did get a few shots of both Red Belly and Downy up in the maples.