A brief departure from New England

Photo by Chris Bosak
A tri-colored heron in Naples, Florida, April 2019.

I’m still hobbled with tendinitis in my foot so I don’t have any exciting spring migration tales to share or fresh warbler photos to post. I do, however, have a ton of photos to share from a recent trip to Florida. Sure, they are not genuine New England birds but they’re still awesome.
Savanna, Andrew and I spent last week in Florida for Andrew’s spring break. My brother recently retired to Naples and we visited Ed & Deb, as well as my niece Jessy (Ed’s daughter) & Kyle and their beautiful new daughter Raelynn. Yes, that makes me a great uncle for those scoring at home. Yikes!

There wasn’t a ton of time for bird walks, but Ed, Savanna and I did sneak in a few expeditions to the Everglades and local Naples parks. Here are some shots from the trip, jammed into one big blog post.

Back to New England later this week.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A limpkin in Naples, Florida, 2019.

Photo by Chris Bosak A white ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A white ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A white ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A white ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A brown pelican in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak An osprey in Naples, Florida, 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A little blue heron in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A limpkin in Naples, Florida, 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A green heron in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak Glossy ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A young bald eagle perches in a tree in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A common gallinule in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak An anhinga in Naples, Florida, April 2019.

And, of course …

Photo by Chris Bosak An alligator in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak An alligator in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
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Early nesters are at it already

Photo by Chris Bosak Great blue heron Danbury, CT, March 2019.

While we wait patiently for migrating warblers and other colorful songbirds to arrive in New England, some birds have already started the nesting process. Owls, of course, started a while ago and other birds of prey also get an early jump.

I’ve been watching great blue herons build and repair nests at a small rookery near the Danbury Fair mall. It’s funny to see these large, wild birds fly over a busy shopping mall with sticks in their bills. It is good to see, however, that they are adapting to human encroachment.

The other day I saw two mute swans and one Canada goose on nests at a small pond.

It’s an exciting time of year in the birdwatching world with nesting starting and the spring migration beginning to heat up.

Here’s an old shot I took of an osprey building its nest.

Photo by Chris Bosak An Osprey adjusts a stick in its nest at Veterans Park in Norwalk, Conn., April 29, 2015.

For the Birds: Sights and sounds of a fall canoe ride

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron perches on one leg in a tree in Brookfield, Conn., during the fall of 2018.

Here’s the latest For the Birds column, which runs in several New England newspapers.

….

The fall drawdown on large New England lakes can make it a challenge to launch a canoe. The shoreline is often soupy and mucky, making it a dirty and dicey proposition to get in a quick paddle.

A little dirt and muck have never deterred me, however, especially when the possibility of good duck watching lies ahead. Such was the case last week when I braved the Lake Lillinonah shoreline in southwestern Connecticut to launch my canoe. Lillinonah is considered a lake because of its width, but it is really part of the Housatonic River.

Thankfully, it hadn’t rained in a few days so much of the shoreline was hardened mud. It got muckier the closer I got to the water, but I was able to leave the tail end of the canoe out far enough that my feet only sunk down about 2 or 3 inches before jumping in.

The bottom of the canoe’s interior was smeared with mud, but what the heck; it’s a canoe, a little dirt won’t hurt it. I lifted up my butt, dug in the paddle and pushed off hard. I was on my way and instantly felt the cares of the world disappear as I glided over the glassy water, surrounded by New England’s famous fall colors.

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A few more shots from Assateauge Island National Seashore

Photo by Chris Bosak  A tri-colored heron at Assateauge Island National Seashore, Maryland, summer 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A tri-colored heron at Assateauge Island National Seashore, Maryland, summer 2018.

The other day I posted a few shots of a brave green heron I found at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. Here are a few more shots from that trip.

Coming soon: Shots of the wild ponies at Assateague.

Photo by Chris Bosak  A green heron on a railing of a walkway at Assateague Island, Maryland.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A green heron on a railing of a walkway at Assateague Island, Maryland.

Yes, that’s my car in the background. Couldn’t resist getting a shot of the bird with the car in it, too.

Photo by Chris Bosak  A tri-colored heron at Assateauge Island National Seashore, Maryland, summer 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A tri-colored heron at Assateauge Island National Seashore, Maryland, summer 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak  Waders gather at a pool of water in the marshlands of Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, summer 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Waders gather at a pool of water in the marshlands of Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, summer 2018.

Brave green heron

Photo by Chris Bosak  A green heron on a railing of a walkway at Assateague Island, Maryland.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A green heron on a railing of a walkway at Assateague Island, Maryland.

When someone posts to a rare bird alert a sighting that occurred outside of the specific designation area (a Rhode Island bird on Connecticut Rare Bird Alert, for example) they call it extralimital. Well, this post is extralimital in that the photos were not taken in New England, but rather on Assateague Island during a recent visit to the Maryland beaches.

I got up well before sunrise and arrived at a spot as dawn was breaking where hundreds upon hundreds of waders could be seen in the shallow marsh ponds. I walked to the edge of a short wooden walkway to get a different angle of the sunrise. As I turned to walk back along the walkway I was caught off guard by a green heron literally feet away from me on the railing.

The New England green herons I’ve seen and photographed over the years have been very wary. They certainly aren’t approaching me to within a few feet. Well, this bird did. So, of course, I took a bunch of photos of it. Here are a few.

I hope to post a few more photos of that trip (including some of the wild ponies), temporarily making this site http://www.birds of new england and a bit beyond.com

Photo by Chris Bosak
A green heron on a railing of a walkway at Assateague Island, Maryland.

Another (and closer) shot of the heron

Photo by Chris Bosak Great blue heron at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, CT.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Great blue heron at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, CT.

The consensus seems to be the bigger (or closer) the better. So here’s another shot of the heron that I didn’t include in the previous post. You ask for it, you get it at http://www.BirdsofNewEngland.com. Thanks for your feedback!

Great blue heron at Merganser Lake (lots of shots)

Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

It’s always nice when a bird is patient enough to let you experiment with different angles and magnifications. That was the case with this great blue heron I saw on Merganser Lake (really Lake Waubeeka) in Danbury, Conn., on Tuesday evening.

I know the photos are all very similar, but what magnification do you like?

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron stands on a dock at Lake Waubeeka in Danbury, Conn., during the summer of 2017.