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”

The bald eagles living next door

Although I generally head to the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm for most of my morning outings, I occasionally switch my destination to another nearby park. I did so today and was rewarded with an encounter with two bald eagles. I headed to Colonial Lake and Park, which is a mile and a half from myContinue reading “The bald eagles living next door”

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!”

A futile search for the vesper sparrow, and a bad hair day for a heron

This past week was full of birding adventures close to home, with a typical mixture of highs and lows. I’ve just about given up my quest to spot a vesper sparrow this fall. One (or who knows how many) has been hanging out at the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm, spotted by several people over theContinue reading “A futile search for the vesper sparrow, and a bad hair day for a heron”

Fall Big Day: Two great birding destinations and a boat ride

What a trip! For the fall “Big Day” of birding, I hitched a ride with friends Saturday and went on a journey that expanded my horizons and my life list. Mark and Laura and their friend Keri picked me up an hour before dawn, and we drove 90 minutes to reach the Edwin B. ForsytheContinue reading “Fall Big Day: Two great birding destinations and a boat ride”

American kestrels in the gloaming

American kestrels have been hanging out at Mercer Meadows for several months, and I’ve seen as many as five at one time on the Pole Farm side of the park. Unable to go out birding this morning, after work I dashed out to the Reed Bryan Farm side of the park in hopes of catchingContinue reading “American kestrels in the gloaming”

Some birds are not always as they seem

The weather turned colder late last week, and every birder I know was smiling. Colder weather brings a greater variety of birds this time of year, when the fall migration is underway. I’ve been spending more time of late at the old AT&T Building One site at the Pole Farm, at a crossroads in theContinue reading “Some birds are not always as they seem”