Patience pays off, in birding and nature photography

On most Saturday mornings, I start my day at the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm. I don’t have the pressure of having to get back in time to catch a bus to work, so I have more time to wander the fields. This morning, I arrived before dawn, hoping to catch sight of the short-eared owlsContinue reading “Patience pays off, in birding and nature photography”

Appreciating the quiet times of birding

It’s a relatively quiet time for birding in my part of the world, as I’m keenly aware every morning I walk the fields and woods of the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm or the nearby locations that I frequent. It would be different if I lived closer to the Jersey shore, which is teeming with wildContinue reading “Appreciating the quiet times of birding”

Birding joy: Finding the unexpected on your camera roll

It happens frequently on my outings that I point my binoculars at a distant bird and can’t figure out what it is. If I’m lucky, I have enough time to point my camera and capture a few frames, hoping that the bird’s identity will be revealed once I get the images up on screen backContinue reading “Birding joy: Finding the unexpected on your camera roll”

Too much of a great thing: Owl overload at the Pole Farm

Reports of owls — short- and long-eared — have been filed from the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm multiple times during the last few weeks, and crowds are gathering. I’ve spoken with several birders on my last few trips, and as thrilled as we are that owls are about, it is becoming a challenge to findContinue reading “Too much of a great thing: Owl overload at the Pole Farm”

Ringing out 2022 with one last birding outing

I could not let this final day of the year pass by without heading out with my camera and binoculars, even if the weather was less than ideal. Heavy fog rolled in before sunrise and remained with us the entire day. Hoping I might catch a few waterbirds that were unlikely to appear at theContinue reading “Ringing out 2022 with one last birding outing”

I finally see my first owl, and a bonus bird!

Since I began birding seriously the last few years, I’d lamented that I had never seen an owl in the wild. Even at the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm, which usually draws owls during the winter months, I’d never seen one either flying or perched in a tree. On Saturday afternoon, that changed. Word had gottenContinue reading “I finally see my first owl, and a bonus bird!”

Northern harriers at sunset, and that is enough

The sun finally came out late in the afternoon Saturday, which up until that point had brought nothing but rain and drizzle. I headed out to the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm, hoping for a chance to catch something worth photographing. In the half hour before sunset, my best bet was to have a chance atContinue reading “Northern harriers at sunset, and that is enough”

A birder’s plea: Let’s stick with standard time

Today we observe the annual “fall back” ritual of reverting to standard time in the United States, and I welcome the change. My birding opportunities had dwindled over the last several weeks as sunrise came later and later, shrinking the time I had to get out in the fields and trees before heading off toContinue reading “A birder’s plea: Let’s stick with standard time”

When the light, the foliage and the bird align

Every once in a while, the birding and photography gods smile upon me. Such occasions are rare, and the latest came on a recent Sunday morning at what you might call the Church of the Pole Farm. I took one of my standard routes at the park, making a left into the alley of treesContinue reading “When the light, the foliage and the bird align”

Birding photography guide: Check your settings

Back in the pre-digital years, a photographer’s worst nightmare was concluding a shoot and discovering either that the film had not gone through the camera or the camera wasn’t even loaded. That happened to me a few times. Today’s version is discovering a mile and a half into the woods that your photo card isContinue reading “Birding photography guide: Check your settings”