These are some shots I have taken earlier this year, rendered in monochrome.
At high tide, ocean water pours into the salt marshes at the refuge, and provides a fish bonanza to the birds that hover near the sluice gates. I saw a band of Seagulls diving with abandon into the churning water and I began shooting them. Only when I came home and looked at the images on the computer did I see that some of them actually had caught small fish.
A Cormorant was equally successful, though they usually catch much bigger fish. Perhaps this one was young and still learning.
As a side effect of hurricane Philippe, we are being drenched with rain today, and I am staying home. Here are a few shots taken over the past several weeks that did not fit into any previous post.
I am guessing the following two birds are immature Yellow-crowned Night Herons. October has been warm this year, and these two had not yet migrated South.
Last week, at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, I saw for the first time an American Avocet standing among other familiar birds. In fact I did not know what it was until I got home, saw a strange bird in the photo and looked it up.
The following photo is unusually wide so that all the Cormorants in that one spot can be seen.
Finally, many smaller birds were flying around: Grackles, European Starlings, and Red-winged Blackbirds. I did not get a good shot of the Red-winged Blackbirds, although they appeared to be leading packs of small birds around the marshes.
First a brown shape dove straight down from the sky, at a blazing speed. It was gone almost instantly. Then I saw a Snowy Egret floundering among a group of Cormorants swimming at the spot where the dive bombing occurred.
Then the Cormorants began fleeing the scene.
Eventually the Snowy Egret managed to fly away and went hiding among the tall grasses of the marshes. Meanwhile, a Peregrine Falcon was perched on top of a nearby pole, watching. I wonder if it was the same one who had dive bombed and scared every bird away. Peregrine Falcons are super fast and capable of reaching 200 mph (320 km/h) on a dive. They are also known to attack mid-sized birds and ducks.
Between now and the end of the year, I will post some of the photos I took in 2014 that did not make it, for one reason or another, into any of this year’s posts. I thought you may like them, even though there is no common theme to them.
Late, but nevertheless this is my entry for Cee’s challenge.
I saw this Blue Heron looking a little bit envious of a cormorant who had just come up for air after diving in the water, with a fish firmly held in its bill:
Last weekend I was at the foot of the bridge going over Carnegie Lake into Princeton, NJ. I took this photo just as a Princeton University rowing team passed under it while a flock of geese noisily flew overhead.
Nearby, other geese were having their siestas,
while two cormorants were drying their wings.