Tag Archives: birds

Tough Little Plovers

I went down state (Connecticut) to the shore. Needed a change of scenery and different places to photograph. With luck a little less snow.

Walking the beach I found a favorite, Plovers.

These small birds live on the jetties and rocks. The snow and ice cover these rocks, not to mention the freezing water,  yet they hide in there somehow.IMG_5925I watched them run up and down the beach chasing waves. Each time a wave goes out they all charge into the surf to grab what ever they might find.

As soon as the next wave starts to come in they all turn and run a few feet back up the shore. Wait, then run back in the water again.

Back and forth until they tire or have enough food. Fun to watch.

 

 

Accommodating Hawk

Cabin fever, snow bound, whatever it’s called, well it’s here.

We can get out and drive around now. With 3 storms, back to back, we have probably 3 feet of snow in most places.

This is New England and while the stores still get a mad rush for milk and bread when the “S” word is spoken it’s really normal for February.

However…… you can drive from one place to another. Parking lots required. No wandering around unless you leave a car home.

We drove to the Connecticut shore where there is a ‘little’ less snow. There we hiked, walked through some beaches and marshes. And met this fellow;

 

Red Tail Hawk
Red Tail Hawk

 

Connecticut Shore Hawk
Connecticut Shore Hawk

I Had To Take This Shot

This Gull was too pretty to miss.

What makes this great, at least for me, is all the things that were going on around me at the time;

  1. Cold, windy,  and snowy Connecticut river
  2. Other Gulls diving all around us
  3. A flock of geese watching with great interest
  4. Coyotes looking for lunch (more to come on that)

This goes back to an earlier post of mine. They just don’t seem to care.

The Shy Eagle

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.

A Busy Maple Tree

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.

 

Dark Eyed Junco

One of my favorite ‘fast movers’.

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.