Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Bird Count

It was o'dark thirty when I woke up Monday morning. I was starting to question the wisdom of agreeing to participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count group counting the East Concord area which includes Great Meadows. Thankfully, it wasn't brutally cold, as I arrived at the refuge at 5:30AM. The sun would not be arising for another 2 hours, but everyone was there to see which owls we could count. With a bit of patience, a Screech Owl was heard near the neighborhood, and a Great Horned Owl in the distance.

At last light was starting to spread over the refuge as we started to venture out into the refuge. We hadn't made it to the kiosk before David spied this mature bald eagle high in the trees at the near end of the Cross Dike trail. When it has visited in the past it has always perched towards the far end of the Upper Impoundment. While we were able to get good looks with binoculars and scopes, it was a bit far for the lens I brought. It eventually moved on (after doing a fly by scaring the coots) and we proceeded.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120102 &emdash;

As we made our way onto the dike there were the usual Canada Geese, Coots, and Sparrows along the way. I was clearly the novice among this group of birders, but it was interesting to watch and listen as they learned from each other. In the early morning light, I took this group photo.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120102 &emdash;
(l-r) Allison, David, Bryan, Scott, Julia, Claudio

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120102 &emdash;
"Heavy" coming in for a landing, Expect wake turbulence

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120102 &emdash;
Approaching front, about to pass thru


While we were stopped next to one of the trees on the Cross Dike, this Downy flew in to count the Christmas Counters.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120102 &emdash;

At the far end of the Cross Dike trail, the group split and my group covered the Lower Impoundment, Timber Trail, and the Railroad Bed up to the treatment plant. Along the Timber Trail Connector (my new name for the ad hoc trail used by the neighbors to connects the Timber Trail to the Rail Trail) we discovered a new tree down across the path.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120102 &emdash;
I found the pattern of fungi interesting

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120102 &emdash;
Proof that man may try to impact things, but slowly and surely nature will have its way in the end


The day was more about birding than photography, so you'll have to be content with these few grab shots. The good news was that when we arrived home from Rochester, my repaired D300 was sitting on the steps. The bad news was that the repair reset all the settings in the camera, so much time during and after the walk was spent getting it set up to function the way I need it, to take the photos you enjoy.

2 comments:

  1. Larry, these are fantastic photos! Very inspiring, you make Concord look more beautiful than it already is! Thanks alot for these - Scott

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  2. Larry, You are certainly off to a great start for the new year. Alan

    ReplyDelete