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”

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”

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”

Capturing Feathers: A digital bird image gallery

We’ve had an awful lot of rain in New Jersey the past few days, much of it the remnants of Hurricane Ian that did so much damage in Florida. With the sky weeping each morning, I have not had a chance to get out with my camera since Saturday. Fortunately, a rainy-day option is availableContinue reading “Capturing Feathers: A digital bird image gallery”

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”

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”