Tapping the animal network to bring out a bird

Spring migration has been a bit of a disappointment for me this year, as I haven’t seen as many warblers as I did last year. I’ve heard them, or more accurately the Merlin sound app has heard them clustered around me, but I’ve had relatively little luck spotting them. As of the start of thisContinue reading “Tapping the animal network to bring out a bird”

Bueller? Bueller? Birds at the parking lot

As if to prove there’s no rhyme or reason to birding, consider the parking lot birds that appear just as you’re about to leave the birding location or, even rarer in my experience, those who show up just as you arrive. That latter scenario played out Thursday morning when I pulled into the Cold SoilContinue reading “Bueller? Bueller? Birds at the parking lot”

Winter gives way to Spring in New Jersey

Winter has receded and Spring has sprung in central New Jersey, and we’re seeing the changing of the guard in the birds that frequent these parts. Warblers are starting to arrive, although I have yet to get a confirmed sighting in my recent outings. Who’s on the way out? White-throated sparrows and American tree sparrowsContinue reading “Winter gives way to Spring in New Jersey”

Finding birds on new trails

With a nod to Robert Frost, I’ve always been one to take the road less traveled, seeking new paths even in familiar places. I’ll approach an intersection and wonder, “Where does this road go?” More often than not, I’ll turn and drive on to see what new wonders await me. So it is with theContinue reading “Finding birds on new trails”

Bird song is returning, an early signal of spring at the Pole Farm

At the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm, a few early signs that spring will get here eventually are starting to show. Over my last couple of visits, I’ve started hearing after a long layoff the raspy cries of red-winged blackbirds, and the Eastern bluebirds are calling to one another. This morning, I noticed that a fewContinue reading “Bird song is returning, an early signal of spring at the Pole Farm”

On the hunt for that Superb Owl shot

Finally I got back to the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm for a late afternoon visit this weekend and got a fair look at a short-eared owl. Although I continue to visit regularly in the morning, I had stayed away on weekend afternoons because it was difficult to find parking as photographers on the prowl forContinue reading “On the hunt for that Superb Owl shot”

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”

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”