Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Solitude

One nice thing about the approaches to the bridges being flooded is that since most people don't bring their "Wellies" to Great Meadows once you have waded through the water you pretty much have the refuge to yourself. Today it was cold, but sunny. There was lots of animal activity. I pretty much had the place to myself. It doesn't get much better than that.

Walking in from the parking lot, I started looking at all the frosty plants. But in the end I found these patterns the most interesting. Can you identify what they are?

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;


Give up? They are the mud in the path freezing and taking the shape of the ice crystals.

The first thing I noticed was that a lot of the water in the impoundments was frozen. As a result the geese and the coots were crowded together in the patches of open water.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
Coot on ice braking duty

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
Must be warmer than standing on the ice

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
Canada Goose comes to evict the Occupy Concord movement


Suddenly, I heard a lot of noise from the far side of the impoundment. Looking over, I noticed many birds rapidly moving across the water. Looking up the cause of their sudden activity was apparent, as a mature Bald Eagle was doing a bit of "fly fishing" or hunting as the case my be. The photos aren't great because of the distance. If I had known there would have been excitement, I would have set up where the reeds wouldn't have been in the shot.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;


Having struck out the eagle retreated to the trees near the treatment plant. I relocated to a spot where the reeds wouldn't interfere. I waited 40 minutes. The coots came back, but the eagle was content to sit in the tree.

There was a lot of animal activity this morning.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
Some of these birds are not like the others. Buffleheads in the midst of the coots.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
Finally saw the Belted Kingfisher inside the refuge

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
The consensus of the experts is that this mystery bird, is just a Goldfinch in nice light.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
House Finch

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;


Down by the river there were quite a few bluebirds, flying to and fro. Only on occasion would they stop at the Winterberry bushes. I am still hoping to improve upon last winter's Bluebird images. Today, I was able to capture a few nice portraits.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
Male Bluebird

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;
Female Bluebird

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;


The ubiquitous sparrows seemed crowded out of the lime light by the flocks of bluebirds, goldfinches, and downy woodpeckers I encountered. This Song Sparrow posed so nicely I had to include him.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;


I don't know if this fish (yellow perch or raccoon perch (Perca fluviatilis)) was stranded by the receding water or whether he was caught by the tail. I do know that it wasn't there on Sunday when we walked through the water across the bridge.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;


I think I have enough photos of Downy Woodpeckers, but walking through the forest, I encountered this one. The colors in the background were so nice, I couldn't pass it up.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111213 &emdash;

2 comments:

  1. Really nice to have photos of the eagle. Could you detect any trailing fishing line?

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  2. What a great morning you had! That fish wasn't on the bridge as of sundown on Monday, so maybe an early morning catch.

    Some especially lovely songbird portraits. Love the bluebirds on cattail tips. I'm very curious about the mystery bird...red feet, head reminds me of a flycatcher, tail of goldfinch. Can you post to our Google group or MassBird for ID advice and let us know?

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