Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Unexpected Day

The weather forecast for the week was cloudy and rainy, hardly the conditions for good photography.  However Tuesday morning was supposed to be dry. My plan was go to Great Meadows and attempt to photograph Marsh Wrens which to date have eluded my best efforts to photograph them.  With patches of blue sky greeting my rising, I quickly assembled my kit and drove rapidly to Great Meadows.  After all this is New England, that blue sky might not be around for long.

The Marsh Wrens continued to torture me.  The would pop up here and there; singing briefly and then ducking into the weeds, or flying away.  They would remain still for less time than it takes my camera to auto focus, resulting in blurry shots and then they were gone.

Watching them I made a discovery that made the exercise, much easier.  The key was noticing one Marsh Wren which was collecting materials for a nest.  Following him, I finally could see the clump of reeds where he was building the nest.  Once, I knew where the Marsh Wren was periodically visiting, I could pre-focus on a spot and wait for him to arrive or depart. After every few trips, this particular Marsh Wren would take a moment to stop and sign a celebratory song prior to returning to work.


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;


About the time I was tiring of photographing Marsh Wrens and dreading the photo editing task that awaited me, Alan and Francesca stopped by interrupting their "pot hole" filling activities. On the way to showing me where the Northern Waterthrush was seen yesterday, we noticed the Virginia Rail.  The Rail put on quite a display walking along the edge of the impoundment, then coming out into the grass.  It flew to the other impoundment where it was active, before flying back.  In all it was active for about 15-20 minutes before creeping back into the reeds out of view.


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Either of those would have made for a great day.  But there were so many other highlights, for the day.   Alan was topping some of the filled muskrat holes with gravel, until I got him distracted.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;


The Blanding Turtle crew were out.  Here they check on of the traps they've set out.  It appears that the Blanding Turtles are attracted to the can of sardines with a hole in it that is placed in the net. I want to ask them if the turtles are strong enough to open the can, while they await release. Jeff is in the front, Jared in the back. I don't know the middle person's name, so I guess it's not so bad that their face is obscured by the turtle!

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;



Purple Loosestrife is an invasive plant that the refuge is trying to combat with beetles that are attracted to that plant. They are tiny little creatures. We found some crawling all over the Loosestrife. This pair looks like the find the plant quite agreeable and a suitable place to start a family.



Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;


Along the way we ran into Cherrie Corey who helped us identify many of the flowering plants we had been seeing along the paths. These are Cuckoo Flower and Wood Anemone .


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

We had encountered a female Mallard that appeared to be nesting quite close to the path. When we went back to find it, it was gone. But moments later we could see the proud with her dozen children following closely behind!

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110502 &emdash;

This truly was a bonus day. The weather, the Marsh Wrens, and Virgina Rail were extra special treats. I am just sad that there are other photos, I just had to weed out. The few I did share are like the nuts and cherry on the top of the sundae. Oh did I mention, I now know where there are four tree swallow nests - expect to see some of their photos in the future.

2 comments:

  1. Nice shots and blog Larry! Keep up the good work.

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  2. Great Virginia Rail portraits! Minor correction on the name of the bottom white flower - Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia).

    ReplyDelete