Monday, May 21, 2012

Around The Refuge

The rain forecast for Monday morning held, so I wandered over to the refuge to join Alan and Will for the weekly bird census. There were plenty of the usual suspects, but also some less frequently seen visitors. (Click on the Recent Bird Sightings to see today's results.)

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
Orchard Oriole near the Tower

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
Yellow Warblers


I think the Marsh Wren is one of my favorite residents of the refuge. These small birds have an interesting, complicated song. These acrobatic birds are quick and a challenge to photograph.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;


While my attention was focused on trying to help identify birds, various subjects caught my eye.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
Based upon the look on his face I would not mess with this Red Winged Blackbird

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
Mute Swan at the moment of landing

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
Coopers Hawk landing near the Southwest entrance

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
Mother Mallard and ducklings walking along lower impoundment path

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
Mallards among cattails and duck weed

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
Goslings walking to the river


While birds caught most of my photographic attention, a few other sights caught my attention.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
The warm weather has brought out the black snakes

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120521 &emdash;
An almost perfect dandelion

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Usual Suspects

A lot has been going on in my life, so I haven't been visiting Great Meadows as often as I hoped. When I have visited my backlog of other work has kept me from post processing & loading those images to the blog. I made a mid-year's resolution to get better about that so here are some photos from my recent visit. Mainly just the usual suspects for this time of year, but it is enjoyable to be out on such a beautiful day.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;
Yellow Warbler momentarily alights atop a bush for his portrait session

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;
Least Sandpiper scavenges a former muskrat lodge / canada goose nest

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;
Great Blue Heron next to Dike Trail more interested in grooming than passersby

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;
Dragonflies seem to be out earlier...didn't notice the bug until I got home


It's the time of year where the Marsh Wrens are displaying and trying to attract mates. Several were so interesting in attracting mates and defining their territory that they practically ignored my presence.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;
I love when they get lost in their song and close their eyes


Back near the kiosk a pair of robins have set up house in a tree right next to the path. Pay attention as you start down the dike trail. The incubation period for robins is 12-14 days. It's another 2 weeks until the young are fledged. It should be an interesting month.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;

Between the parking lot and the bathrooms a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers are raising a new family. You can hear the chicks but they aren't coming to the entrance. The next is easy enough to find, just wait for one of the parents to return from a foraging trip. It seems one returns every 10-15 minutes.

The nesting hole's position under a branch seemed like a great cover against rainy weather. However the Cornell Ornithology website says it is probably more to defend against lying squirrels and sap suckers trying to commander the nest.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120518 &emdash;
Keep your eyes pealed for the babies they should fledge in about 3 more weeks.