A snow photo to get us ready for winter

After watching a few snowy college football games yesterday, I figured I’d get us ready for the white stuff by throwing in a few photos from years past. Today is warm and windy in New England, but that can change at any moment …

Photo by Chris Bosak A Dark-eyed Junco looks for seeds the day following a snow storm in New England, Jan. 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Dark-eyed Junco looks for seeds the day following a snow storm in New England, Jan. 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A young Cooper's Hawk eats a squirrel in southern New England in Feb. 2015.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A young Cooper’s Hawk eats a squirrel in southern New England in Feb. 2015.

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Putting a bow on winter

Photo by Chris Bosak  A broken birdbath and several inches of snow made for an ideal canvas to make a face made out of nuts and seeds used to feed birds.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A broken birdbath and several inches of snow made for an ideal canvas to make a face made out of nuts and seeds used to feed birds.

It’s supposed to be 70, pushing 80, degrees this week. Although New England can throw us some surprises, I’m fairly confident we are done with winter and spring is ready to bloom.

So with that said, here are my last leftover winter photos. I love the photo above. My birdbath bowl broke in half this winter and I didn’t have the heart to throw it away. I used it as a small platform feeder, but when the snow came, obviously it accumulated and covered the seeds. After one of the storms I used some peanuts and sunflower seeds to make a face on the accumulate snow. I was hoping a bird would show up and enhance the photo even more, but no such luck … at least not when I was looking. But it made for a neat photo anyway.

Enjoy and happy spring.

Photo by Chris Bosak Ablack-capped chickadee grabs a sunflower seed from a Christmas decoration during the winter of 2016-17 in Danbury, Conn.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A black-capped chickadee grabs a sunflower seed from a Christmas decoration during the winter of 2016-17 in Danbury, Conn.

Photo by Chris Bosak A white-breasted nuthatch sits on a bird-shaped birdfeeder during the winter of 2016-17 in Danbury, Conn.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A white-breasted nuthatch sits on a bird-shaped bird feeder during the winter of 2016-17 in Danbury, Conn.

Another winter photo: Tufted titmouse in the snow

Photo by Chris Bosak A tufted titmouse perches on a carabiner that holds up a homemade platform birdfeeder in Danbury, Conn., during the winter of 2016-17.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A tufted titmouse perches on a carabiner that holds up a homemade platform birdfeeder in Danbury, Conn., during the winter of 2016-17.

Just another leftover winter photo.

Before winter gets too far in the rearview mirror

Photo by Chris Bosak A black-capped chickadee perches on a homemade birdfeeder in Danbury, Conn., March 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A black-capped chickadee perches on a homemade birdfeeder in Danbury, Conn., March 2017.

Here are a few leftover bird photos fro this past winter. Signs of spring are everywhere and more are popping up every day, so I’d better get these photos out there now …

This week and next I’ll sprinkle in some “signs of spring” photos, too.

Photo by Chris Bosak A dark-eyed junco perches on a deck railing in Danbury, Conn., March 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A dark-eyed junco perches on a deck railing in Danbury, Conn., March 2017.

I’m not a chaser, but a Great Gray Owl? Come on

Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Gray Owl perches in a tree overlooking a field in Newport, N.H., in March 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Gray Owl perches in a tree overlooking a field in Newport, N.H., in March 2017.

As the headline says, I don’t typically chase rare birds around the region. It’s not that I don’t want to see the birds, but either family or work obligations usually prohibit me from taking long drives to see a bird.

But a Great Gray Owl within 3 1/2 hours? I gotta make that effort. I still had work but couldn’t risk waiting until the weekend should the bird decide to take off and not be found again. So I pulled a maneuver I used to do fairly often before I had kids: I basically pulled an all-nighter. I slept restlessly from midnight to 2:15 a.m. and drove three hours to Keene, N.H., to pick up my old friend Steve Hooper. Then we drove another 40 minutes to Newport, N.H., where this awesome bird had been seen in the same field each day for about a week straight. (I knew that thanks to the ABA rare bird alert.)

Hoop and I followed the directions and arrived at the scene at about 6:20 a.m. A rare bird alert message posted at 6:15 a.m. confirmed that the bird was indeed there. I was minutes away from seeing my first Great Gray Owl.

We walked a short distance down a trail, saw a handful of people and joined the small crowd. Sure enough, there was the owl, sitting in a bare deciduous tree surveying the field and ignoring his fans.

At one point it flew to another nearby deciduous tree and then eventually flew another short distance to a pine tree. The wind was strong and snow squalls came and went, but otherwise it was a rather pleasant day for the owl and his human visitors — especially for New Hampshire in early March.

I was hoping to see one more flight, but time was short. I had to drop off Hoop and drive the 3 1/2 hours back to Connecticut to get to work in the a.m. So by 10:30 a.m. I had driven to New Hampshire and back, and saw my first-ever Great Gray Owl. Just the old days.

Here are a few photos with more to come in the days ahead. Also coming soon is more information on the Great Gray Owl as a species.

No promises on how long it will stick around, of course, but here’s a link to a news story about the owl with directions on where to find it. 

And here’s the link to the ABA’s Rare Bird Alert with updates on the owl (and other sightings).

 

Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Gray Owl perches in a pine tree in Newport, N.H., in March 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Gray Owl perches in a pine tree in Newport, N.H., in March 2017.


Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Gray Owl perches in a tree overlooking a field in Newport, N.H., in March 2017.

More photos of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Photo by Chris Bosak A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker clings to a tree during a cold snap in Danbury, Conn., Feb. 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker clings to a tree during a cold snap in Danbury, Conn., Feb. 2016.

Yes, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a real bird. And I had one on my suet feeder this weekend during the cold snap in New England.

It was the first time I had ever had a sapsucker on a feeder of mine in about 20 years of birdfeeding. Plenty of other woodpeckers, but never a sapsucker before. I have, however, seen plenty of them in the woods among my wanderings, but never on a feeder before. Here are a few more photos of my visitor, none of Continue reading

Merganser Lake: Quick walk in the snow – finally

Photo by Chris Bosak Oak leaves covered in a light coating of snow on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Danbury, Conn.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Oak leaves covered in a light coating of snow on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Danbury, Conn.

Snow has been scarce in southern New England this winter so when I woke up to an unexpected covering of the white stuff this morning, I couldn’t wait to take the quick walk through the woods to Little Merganser Lake.

After I got the boys off to school, I set out. It was colder than I expected but it was still a pleasant and scenic walk. Any walk in the snow is scenic and rejuvenating.

Here are a few more iPhone shots of the walk. Continue reading