Monday, October 17, 2011

A Bunch of Old Coots Visit

I have been away from Great Meadows for over a week, so Monday morning, I was up with the sun
to see what changed since my last visit. From the tower many striking differences were immediately apparent. The trees near the tower have already shed most of their leaves.

After giving me a hard time for taking a week off Alan, Will and Kathy invited me to accompany them as they drove around the refuge conducting their weekly bird census.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;
The last of over 300 Canada Geese departing to forage or continue their migration

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;
They have completed dredging one side of the lower impoundment canal

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;
The paper wasp nest that had been hidden in the leaves, is now the only thing left on the branch

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;


There were reminders of spring as a flock of Red-winged Blackbirds stopped by the refuge. As the sun rose the temperature started to warm. Their calls could be heard around the impoundments.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;


The sparrows were foraging up and down the dike trails. This Savannah Sparrow was posing on one of the cat tail reeds.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;


Today's special visitors were a flock of over a hundred American Coots that had settled into the lower impoundment.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;


Near the bench on the Cross Dike Trail a juvenile Sora was foraging at the edge of the reeds. The Great Meadows Sora are most often heard, but less often seen. Given that standard this bird was practically posing. Unfortunately, Soras still insist on posing in a tangled mess of undergrowth. Of course a bad Sora photo beats the non-photo of the Great Horned Owl that we saw near the Concord / Bedford line marker.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;


Aa the morning progressed the wind started to blow. While the temperature was pleasant where you were protected by the trees, out on the dike the wind was starting to whip up.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;
Reeds blowing in the wind


While the trees near the tower have lost their leaves, down near the river they are just starting to change.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111017 &emdash;