Colonial Lake close to home is quite small, but it has a good variety of wildlife. An old Canada Goose, named Hank by the locals, does not seem to fly any more and enjoys eating the bread crumbs and cookies that people throw to him.
Squirrels are abundant, and at this time of the year they are stocking up on acorns and other wild nuts to prepare for winter.
An Eastern Phoebe had something in its bill, but I couldn’t tell what it was. They usually eat small insects, and sometimes small fruit or seeds.
A Ring-billed Seagull landed with a splash and caught something in its beak.
The champ was a Great Blue Heron who caught three fishes in less than 10 minutes as I photographed him.
I walked around Colonial Lake near home yesterday and took pictures of the following flowers. I am guessing the names of the first two, so please feel free to correct me if you happen to recognize them with their proper names.
One day last week I had to stop several times to let turtles cross the road in front of me. Here are a few shots of them at different places in the refuge, and one shot at Colonial Lake closer to home.
At the beginning of last century, Terrapins were eaten by humans, almost to extinction. It was only two years ago in 2016 that New Jersey officially banned the hunting of Terrapins for any reason. They are currently classified as a species of Special Concern. Snapping Turtles are classified as Least Concern.
Cedar Waxwings are quite common birds native to North and Central America. They live all year round in our area. However, it was only until yesterday that I could photograph one. It was perched high on a branch by the water at Colonial Lake. A band of them were flying around eating insects. They are normally fruit eaters but there was no fruit to be found yet at this time of the year.
The American Robin shown below was making so much noise and movement that I had to take its picture.
The target for its cries was another Robin, who watched it very nonchalantly.
Here are the two of them in one photo.
Perhaps the shouting Robin was a juvenile clamoring for food, and the older bird did nothing, as a way of telling the younger one to go find its own worm. Just my guess.
Early this morning I went to Colonial Lake, a small lake about 5 miles (8 km) from home where at least one Bald Eagle has been seen on a daily basis. Not more than 15 minutes after I arrived, an eagle swooped down and plucked a big fish out of the lake. I was not quite ready yet, so my first shot is not the best, but at least you do see the action.
The eagle took the fish to a high branch on a tree and proceeded to eat it there.
He ate the whole fish in less than 10 minutes, after which he took off right above me to go for a drink.
He had several drinks, looking up each time to check his surroundings.
Then he shifted position.
Then he flew up to a nearby tree, perched on a branch, and looked down on the lake and the other birds there, ignoring the few humans who wandered around along the lake shore.
I think he eventually took a nap for I did not see it move from his perch for almost half an hour.