Saturday, November 3, 2012

Birding at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Canada Geese

American Coots

Black-Capped Chickadee

American Goldfinch

My challenge on this particular walk was to photograph the sparrows in the marshes.  I will tell you that for the most part, as a walker, you watch the sparrows fly out of their hiding places low in the reeds and fly off to a safer location.  Within seconds of landing, they jump down into the deeper thicket where they are easily hidden from human eyes.  Patience was key!  Good hearing is a plus.  You listen for rustling and then you know to wait and see what might pop up.  I was pleasantly surprised a couple of times to find a Downy Woodpecker rather than a sparrow.  There must be some good bugs in these reeds as well!  Also, there were several mice rustling around in the leaves on the ground.  I never got a photo, but I did see their little faces a couple of times.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

White-Throated Sparrow

Great Blue Heron

American Goldfinch

Great Blue Heron

Swamp Sparrow

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

Downy Woodpecker

Marsh Wren

Gull w/ fresh catch
Variety unknown

Just as I was leaving the trail and getting back to the parking lot, what should I see flying overhead but our national bird.  Love it!  First sighting at Great Meadows.  Second sighting this fall!  It was circling around the parking area, so it came back in for another view, but it flew into the sun and then was hard to be sure about it on the return flight.  Was glad I had that good view initially.

Bald Eagle


Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.  What a wonderful place.  You never know what you'll see. Every visit is unique!

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