Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Crisp Saturday Afternoon in April

 How does a healthful walk in the park turn into a bird watching excursion? That's easy...just walk at Long Pond, Pippy Park. Where there were no birds in the winter, spring has brought them back to us. I started my jaunt with a chill; it is not warm. However, I first ran into a young boy and his father who warmed me up. The boy, maybe 14 years old, was so excited. He and his dad had just erected this duck nesting box. The young fellow was filled with information and enthusiasm, all supported by his dad. That is enough to warm the heart!
 I continued my walk to the "bench of birds."  Due to the vegetation and the help of regular seed drops, numerous birds frequent the area around the last bench on the west end. With no deadlines impacting my day, I sat on the bench and watched the show.
I sat for about 30 minutes and never left the bench. I will let the pictures speak to the variety and richness of the experience.

 This little Boreal Chickadee was not very cooperative.

Tearing myself away from this great place, I walked on where I found more than a dozen fresh American Robins frolicking around Harmony Gardens. Numerous Boreal Chickadees were also in the area. By now, I was ready to move on and try my hand at some more pictures of the Great Egret.
 This little American Wigeon has been in Long Pond for quite some time and does not seem bothered by the celebrity of the Great Egret.
 For a short while I had a one-on-one with the Great Egret. There was concern about how this bird would cope with the recent cold nights. He looked great, actively feeding and moving about.
I am still struggling with shooting white birds in the bright sunlight. Through trial and error, I will get it. I have had lots of trials and more than my share of errors, so I must keep trying. What better motivation than this great southern treasure.

Is there any place else in the world where it is possible to see all of these species less than .5 kilometers from each other? 

Get out and go for a walk.  Be sure to take your binoculars and camera and leave your watch at home.

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