Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Great Day To Visit

Though I haven't been posting, I have stopped by Great Meadows a couple of times. However the photography was uninspiring, either because I was rushed, the conditions were poor, or nature didn't cooperate. Rather than bore you with bad photography, I thought I should wait until something better appeared before my lens. Thursday morning was just what the doctor ordered.

I knew it was going to be a good day when there were a pair of Wood Ducks swimming in the impoundment by the inlet near the tower. While they are often viewable by those with binoculars and scopes, they like to stay a long ways from a camera (probably looks too much like a gun).

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Scattered around the lower impoundment were groups of Ring-necked ducks.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;


As I traversed the Cross Dike trail, I encountered some of the usual suspects, including Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds. However, this time I saw my first female Red-winged Blackbird. I expect more are on the way, and the cycle of life begins its next lap.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;


The geese have already stated a new cycle. They have paired up, are converting muskrat lodges to nesting sites, and defining their territorial boundaries. This goose had just finished chasing away an interloper and settled down too close for my long lens.

Later I encountered another pair mating. The female must pray that its fast since the male had her totally submerged during the act. Unfortunately, I was not able to get any photos, since they had swum behind some reeds, maybe for modest and privacy.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Further out in the impoundment Tree Swallows were flying back and forth, trying their best to keep the insect population low. Also note the new Duck Boxes were part of Derek MacNeil's Eagle Scout project. Thanks, Derek.


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Far across the impoundment, through my lens I could see a immature Bald Eagle cruising the tree line. It was much too far away for photos. He flew away past the sewer plant toward the west.

About 45 minutes later, I had walked to the outflow of the lower impoundment and was photographing more Ring-necked Ducks, when all of a sudden a large group of them flew off and others scattered. That was my clue to look up. He had returned to make another pass, much closer this time. Here are two versions, one pretty much straight out of the camera, the other with a bit more artistic post-processing.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;


It's hard not to see Black-capped Chickadees at Great Meadows. They are the state bird after all. Because they are so common, I guess I don't photograph them much (except in the winter, when everything else is gone or scarce. This guy was in almost the perfect place and not bothered by the camera, so I had to take its photo.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

On the way home, I stopped by Great Meadows next door neighbor, the sewage treatment plant. There were two male Belted Kingfishers having a territorial dispute, chasing each other back and forth. Since they fish at Great Meadows and the adjoining Concord River, I thought I would include them.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120405 &emdash;

2 comments:

  1. Oh, I just love that 2nd shot of the eagle and also the kingfishers! I hope to see either of those this year! Love Great Meadows!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, that second shot of the eagle is really something.

    ReplyDelete