Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vacation Land

I felt like I was the only person that had not seen the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck that has been visiting the Great Meadows off and on from the beginning of July. My schedule had always conspired against going to the refuge while it was there.

That's why Sunday I was so pleased when I saw a report in Massbird that it had been seen again only two hours earlier. Though the weather was threatening rain and the clouds loomed overhead, I rushed over to see if I could see this unique bird.

Based the number of cars in the parking lot when I arrived, I realized that I wasn't the only person that wanted to see this bird. Given that the northern end of its range normally extends only to the southern border of Texas and Arizona. For non-birders that were asking questions, I said it was like he decided to take his summer vacation in New England, much like the people from far away that visit Cap Cod each year.

I can see why it is such an attraction. (For more information about this bird check out the Cornell website.)

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;
My favorite photo of the afternoon

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;

Finally tiring of photographing the Whistling Duck, I proceeded further down the Dike path. The American Lotus are always interesting to me.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;
Reminds me of a clock

It seems like there are a lot more Great Egrets visiting the refuge this year.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120729 &emdash;

Monday, July 2, 2012

Potpourri

Most of my recent visits to the refuge have been focused on photographing the Tree Swallow nest.  Occasionally I would wander elsewhere in the refuge or grab a few shots as I was coming and going.  Between the holidays, household tasks, and a few visits to that other refuge to the northeast, I haven't had time to post process and post.  So here goes.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
Black Ducks swimming in the Lower Impoundment

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
If you were quiet and got to the refuge early you could get good views of this female wood duck that was hanging out in the lower impoundment, near the river end of the cross dike trail.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
The cat tail reeds getting tall make finding Marsh Wrens more challenging...but this guy popped up next to the path


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
Killdeer love the drained lower impoundment. You often hear them and sometimes see them as they forage in the mud.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
I waited patiently for this bird to get closer to me. It got close enough for a few action shots. Unfortunately shortly after this a jogger, thundered by and the Killdeer flew back into the impoundment and the lotus.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
Bluet - If it doesn't appear to be a bright turquoise / robins egg blue, then your monitor needs adjustment!

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
This one stumped my try for a quick ID

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
Monarch on Milkweed

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
Cedar Waxwing hanging out by the lower impoundment outflow.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
Loved how it pulled its wings back to give us a view of the body

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
I took this because it reminded me of the fireworks we were going to see that evening

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
God's version of lace

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
The reward for walking to the far end of the refuge and checking out the woods.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
Common Yellowthroat - I liked this version because the pose mimics the leaf directly below

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120630 &emdash;
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher