Friday, August 3, 2012

Three Strikes Out

Great Egret

Thursday is my usual day to go birding with my good friend Doug and our plans were to travel first to Great Meadows national wildlife refuge to try to see the Blackbellied Whistling Duck, and then travel to New England Bio Labs to locate and observe the Redheaded Woodpecker.  Besides Doug and myself, my grandson Kyle was going to go with us because he is turning into a great photographer, and he used to work at the New England Bio Labs and knows the location.
Strike one.
Our plan was to meet at 5 AM, so we could miss the traffic going up group 24 and Route 128.  However, even though I set the alarm.  I did not wake up until 5 AM, I woke Kyle and immediately got dressed and went outside to meet Doug, who was waiting for us.  The trip up to Great Meadows was not too bad.  There was a little bit of traffic, but nothing horrendous. 
Strike two
We arrived at Great Meadow, and the only other person there, a birder said he had not seen the black-bellied whistling duck is yet.  We scouted out the location where the duck is usually seen plus goading all along the whole Dike and down to the river, but by 9:45 AM, there was no sign of the duck.  So we left to go to the New England Bio Labs.  A birder at Great Meadows told us at the New England Bio Labs after you cross the bridge go down the path turn to the right to the next wooden bridge to see red-headed woodpecker (we will discuss this is strike three).  We returned to Great Meadows from New England Bio Labs around 1 PM and stayed until 3:20 PM without any sign of the duck.  Birders who have been there since we had left in the morning had not seen the duck at all.
Strike three.
Arriving at the New England Bio Labs, we set out down the trail across the bridge, turn right at the intersection and went to the wooden bridge.  We saw a number of good birds, but not our red-headed woodpecker.  So after 2 hours, we left, stopped for some lunch and return to Great Meadow.  On discussing what we've had done to find the Redheaded Woodpecker's, a number of the bird is told us we should have turned left rather than right.
I did obtain some interesting photographs.  One of the nicest was a juvenile hooded merganser.  When I first took the picture, I could not identify what the bird was from the bird guides and until I arrived home and looked on the computer and did a Google search was I able to identify which merganser.
Hooded Merganser - Lophdytes cucullatus
Hooded Merganser - juvenile

 _D8C6637 August 02, 2012 NIKON D800
Eastern Kingbird
American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana )
American Bullfrog
Blue Dasher - Pachydiplax longipennis
Blue Dasher

Blue Dasher - Pachydiplax longipennis
Blue Dasher
Great Blue Heron - Ardea herodias  
Great Blue Heron