Catching Up

Its been a long time since my last post.  Things have happened, of course, and so now I’m finally going to sit down and write about it.

First of all, shortly after I put together the photo quiz, I broke my scope at hammo.  It’s a long story, but I am now scopeless and waiting for a new one back from pentax.  This complicates things for me, partly because I’m not sure how I am going to manage some trips coming up without the scope- Cape Ann, for example.  Lately I’ve been doing fine with just bins, but I don’t think that streak will last.

Anyway, the past few weeks have been good, with things really picking up yesterday (I got a lifer on the New Haven CBC).  Last weekend at Earthplace a few JS and I stumbled across the fresh carcass of a deer on the riverbank, which was attracting multitudes of Vultures (both species) and a few very tame Ravens.  I’m not going to show any pics of the actual carcass, because it was  a bloody, gory mess chock full of a lot of things that would definitely not charm many viewers.  Here’s the Raven, though.

Raven

14-acre pond has also been producing some nice waterfowl lately.  Currently a pair of Northern Pintail are hanging around the pond.  The following photo of the drake is actually digibinned, and you will see how it dose not come close to digiscoping quality.  Until  the scope gets back, this will be how my photos turn out.

Drake Pintail

Than comes yesterday, with 90 species counted by our team, which was led by Noble Proctor.  The definite highlight was a beautiful Virginia Rail in the freshwater marsh behind the Elks Club in Branford, a life bird for me.  We all heard the bird calling in the marsh, and we all spread out and tried to get a visual.  After 15 minutes of fruitless searching, the rail stopped calling and we decided to try for other birds farther down the path.  When we got to a new spot, we began hearing the same bird calling where we just were, so we all rushed back there and began searching again.  All of a sudden my dad started mouthing to us and pointing to a spot in front of him.  Slowly we inched over there and were rewarded to a stunning view of the rail among the reeds with its beautiful slate gray head and orange bill.  The rest of the day was a bit slower, but we did see some other nice birds.

The path to the Virginia Rail

Today I was coming back from Long Island on the ferry, and the trip was highlighted by a single Razorbill, which was flying in the direction of CT.  The LI sound is having an influx of these alcids this year, which most likely indicates a population increase- a good thing!

To wrap up the post, I’ll quickly give the answers to last posts photo quiz.  In another post I’ll give a detailed description of the ID process.

1. White-winged Scoter

2. Piping Plover

3. Short-billed Dowitcher

4. Hudsonian Godwit

5. Marbled Godwit

6. Ruby-crowned Kinglit

7. Harris’s Hawk

8. Gyrfalcon

– BM

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