Super Bowl Sunday: A great day for (bald) eagles

Mercer County Park has become a haven for bald eagles and a terrific place for birders and bird-fanciers to watch them. If you’ve never seen a bald eagle in the wild, you have an excellent chance of seeing one and probably more this time of year at Mercer Lake in the center of the park.Continue reading “Super Bowl Sunday: A great day for (bald) eagles”

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”

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”

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”

No matter how you pronounce it, the bobolink is a cool bird

The bobolinks have been hanging around the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm for the last few weeks, and that’s a reason to rejoice. These long-wandering migrants are partial to grasslands, and the Pole Farm has big fields well-suited for them. The first bobolink I saw this season came in late May, a female or possibly aContinue reading “No matter how you pronounce it, the bobolink is a cool bird”

Getting the right shot of the tricky Eastern towhee

The Eastern towhee was one of the first non-backyard birds that caught my attention as I started birding regularly at the Mercer Meadows Pole farm three years ago. I first heard the bright “twee!” call one April morning three years ago, and it would be a few visits more before I spotted one about 10Continue reading “Getting the right shot of the tricky Eastern towhee”

New lens, new perspective on birding photography

As my birding activity ramped up over the past two years, I became increasingly aware of the shortcomings of my camera equipment. I’d been using a refurbished Canon 75-300 mm lens, and it has served me well shooting out the windows at our backyard feeders and shooting in the field at birds at close range.Continue reading “New lens, new perspective on birding photography”