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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Princeton students win World Series of Birding

It’s a rare occasion when my work life and birding hobby converge, but that’s what happened last month when I covered a group of Princeton University students competing in New Jersey Audubon’s World Series of Birding. I had met two of the members of the team on a bird walk they had arranged through theContinue reading “Princeton students win World Series of Birding”

At last, the yellow warbler emerges

For the last three weeks or so, every time I set foot on a particular trail at the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm, I’ve heard a yellow warbler. And I do mean heard, not seen. This bird, and I suspect it is just the one, has continually frustrated me because I have not been able toContinue reading “At last, the yellow warbler emerges”