Tag Archives: wildlife

Winter Day On The Connecticut River

Monday started out with the temperature at -5, very windy, and deep snow due to the 3 major storms New England has just had. In general a day to hide inside, but I filled my pack and went down to the Connecticut river.

After a short 1/4 mile walk up river I spotted a Bald Eagle in a tree
near a small spot of open water. Eagles will seek out any open
areas, not frozen, since ducks and geese will be nearby.

In typical fashion as soon as I had pushed through the snow and was within range of a long distance photo he dropped from the tree and flew over the river.
It was bitter cold so I ended the eagle hunt, headed for home, and
satisfied myself with some small bird activity and warm coffee.  The small birds are not hard to find, but difficult to shot since they’re always in motion.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

The second part of the day was off to hike the hills around Gillette Castle.

The following images were taken from the Castle cat walk over
looking the Connecticut river. It’s frozen solid here as far as you can
see, which is several miles. An eagle came by but he was too fast and low to see until he was past and on the horizon.

(People visit this site from many different places so here is some Gillette Castle info. A subject for another time here.)

On the walk back down the hill we did meet a Red Shoulder Hawk in a cedar thicket. He sat long enough for a few quick shots, then quickly flew off toward the Connecticut river bank below.

Red Shoulder Hawk
Red Shoulder Hawk

The last of our planned stops for the day was the Chester/Hadlyme
ferry landing on the river below Gillette. Connecticut has the 2 oldest ferries in the US. This ferry and the Rocky Hill ferry up river. Several earlier posts on this site were taken at Rocky Hill which I visit ofter.

(These links, Hadlyme Ferry and Rocky Hill Ferry , provide more information)

At the end of the day, heading home from the ferry, I caught a familiar shape far off in the trees as we drove past a bend in the river. We quickly drove down a side road and were greeted by the sight below.

IMG_6084-1A pair of Bald Eagles were hunting from the trees hanging over the river. We were able to photograph them for quite a long time before they flew off to the woods on the far side of the river.

IMG_6099-1

Bald Eagle Connecticut River
Bald Eagle Connecticut River

Some days the New England winters are not all that bad.

 

Coywolf, Coyote and Wolf

I recently read an article about research on Coyotes and Wolves. Included was a vague location and photograph of a female.

The female is in the above picture, location just about where previous sightings were. So I posted some images to revisit this.

Coyote Meeting by the Connecticut river
Coyote Meeting by the Connecticut river

Below is a quote from an article I found online from the CBC.

Canadian Broadcast Corp. —

“A new carnivore has slipped unnoticed into cities across the Eastern seaboard from Toronto to Montreal to Boston and even New York. A versatile, new top predator that feasts on everything from rabbits to deer to moose. Scientists say it is one of the most adaptable mammals on the planet but what surprises them most is how this remarkable creature manages to live right alongside us but just out of view. We share our parks, our streets even our backyards with these wild animals, that both fascinate and baffle scientists, but few of us have ever seen a coywolf.”

“Coywolves emerged from a thin strip of land at the southern end of Algonquin Park less than a hundred years ago. Their arrival on the scene marks a rare event, the creation of a brand new hybrid species. A formidable wild animal that has spread across North America at an unprecedented pace, returning a new top predator to territories once roamed by wolves. Zoologist Roland Kays of the New York State Museum has been tracking these new creatures and describes them as having “a coyote like skull with wolf like teeth”.

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

Coyote Style Staring Contest

In the middle of the Connecticut river the geese were taking a nap, heads under their wings. Seemed like an easy way to get closer for some images.

When I got around the snow pile I found competition.

 

Coyote Meeting by the Connecticut river
Coyote Meeting by the Connecticut river

One watched me, staring intently. You can see in the main picture above he kept his attention on me.

The other tried to work his way up the river bank and around for a better path to the geese between us. I looked for others on the bank but none were in sight.

Coyote Meeting by the Connecticut river
Coyote Meeting by the Connecticut river

There was open water between us, but it was interesting to see how they worked together. They didn’t really seem all that concerned about me, the geese were important.

Did I mention there was open water between us?

As the snow and wind picked up, and I was still there, they climbed back up the bank and left.

What a great unexpected gift.