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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Hitting 100: My species count climbs at the Pole Farm

For several weeks, my species count at the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm sat at 99, enticingly close to the century mark. What exotic bird would take me into triple digits? Some rare visitor from Central America or the Arctic Circle? Some wayward wanderer from Europe, blown in by a storm? I pondered that question onContinue reading “Hitting 100: My species count climbs at the Pole Farm”