Sometimes, the birds come to us

You can tramp for an hour through the woods and fail to find a bird to photograph, and sometimes all you have to do is look up from the kitchen table to find something magnificent paying you a call. The latter happened yesterday as my wife and I sat down to lunch. I was oneContinue reading “Sometimes, the birds come to us”

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”

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 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”