South Cape May Meadows – Part 2

Continuing about South Cape May Meadows

There were snowy egrets in many places we went

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As well as osprey

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And shorebirds.

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The cliff swallows were very active as dusk neared. They look very similar to tree swallows in silhouette but are easily distinguished if their color can be seen.

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A red winged blackbird was making its mating calls in some reeds near us….the breeze swaying his perch.

As we neared the end of hike there was oystercatcher on a nest. This one had even less protection than the one at Two Mile Beach. I was zooming in as much as the light would permit so we weren’t close enough to alarm the bird…but it was watching us very carefully.

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The moon was visible about the wetlands as the light shifted to dusk.

The lighthouse at South Point was visible from the trail too.

And then I couldn’t resist some sunset pictures…stopping for a few seconds several times as we continued hiking back to the cars.

It was a great way to end a day that had started with wake up at 3:30 AM and in the field by 5:30. So many habitats (forest, beach, wetlands) and birds…all in one day!

Zooming – December 2018

It’s been somewhat cold this month – but no snow yet. I’ve enjoyed photographing our transition to winter using the zoom on my camera to set the frame of the scene and/or to enable me to stay out of the mud (we’ve had lots of rain) or indoors and warm. There is still a little green left…and the sky sometimes seems brighter when its clear and cold. Enjoy the December 2018 Zoom slideshow!

Festival of the Cranes – part 9

After the Raptor ID tour, we had lunch then rested at our hotel until time for the ‘fly in’ at sunset. It was the only day we managed to be available at that time.  We decided to observe from the ponds along the refuge’s wildlife loop. There were other people that had the same idea but not enough to make it crowded. There was a crowd of snow geese already on the water and feeding on shore as well. I find myself drawn to the blue morphs…just to see something other than white mounds.

By the time the sandhill cranes started coming in it was too dark to get good pictures at the water level. I took a few images with the evening light…birds – cliffs – trees.

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Some Canadian geese were seeking their evening roost as well.

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Right before we left – I too a picture of the moon…pretty good shot for a bridge camera on a monopod!

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Zooming – January 2018

I’ve been at home observing birds a lot during January and my camera works as well as binoculars for me…so why not go ahead and take the picture too! My favorite is probably of the flicker – savoring the drink of water from our birdbath.

There were some other reasons to use the camera’s zoom – the full moon in early January (there will be another one the last day of the month),

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Ice crystals in a stream (better to use the zoom than making a mistake – taking a very cold step),

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A stump that was on a slope of boulders (to hard to get close), and

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In camera cropping of the morning light on the trees behind our house.

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It was a good month with my Canon Powershot SX730 HS with 40x Optical Zoom!

Moon in the Treetops

Earlier this month, I noticed the moon shining through my office window like a spotlight from the sky first thing in the morning. The first time – on January 2 – I didn’t wait around for it to sink into the treetops.

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But on the 3rd I was more patient. The tall tulip poplars behind our house were catching the moon before the sky brightened.

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By the 6th the morning was already well underway before I took my picture.

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Catching the moon is a great way to start the morning.