Oh the glorious beginning of spring. So nice to see some green sprouting up. Or should I say “springing” up?
It’s the first full day of spring but winter’s snow remains. Here are a few photos from today’s walk near Duke Island Park and the Raritan River in New Jersey.
A few mornings ago, I walked into the backyard to put something away; suddenly a hawk flew from the grass, right in front of me, up into a tree branch. The spot where he had been on the lawn was covered with the feathers of a grackle. The feathers were fresh. I left momentarily to get my camera and returned to take a few photos of the hawk in the tree before it decided to fly away. I didn’t realize until I downloaded the pictures (and could look at them closely) how fresh those grackle feathers really were — the grackle’s body was being firmly held underneath the hawk. I had interrupted the hawk’s breakfast. The grackles had only returned to our backyard in the past week or so after being absent all winter. The hawk must have been thrilled with their recent return!
Linking to “Good Fences” at Run-A-Round Ranch.
This is THE place to hang out if you’re a black vulture. Linking to Friday’s Fences at Life According to Jan and Jer.
For a bird, a fence makes a great place for sunning your tail feathers after the snow.
Linking to Friday’s Fences at Life According to Jan and Jer.
Posted in Weather and Sky
Tagged birding, birds, fence, friday's fences, junco, nature, nature in New Jersey, photo, snow, sparrow, winter
We only have one wren that visits our backyard, but he makes his presence known very loudly!
See other “One” photos at: Weekly Photo Challenge.
Snow on the beach, but no owls
This trash sure looked like a snowy owl from a distance!
Lots of gulls, but no owls
A great blue heron on the path near the cove
A group of sanderlings
After reading all the news articles and blog posts about this year’s snowy owl irruption in coastal northeastern areas of the U.S., we decided it was our turn to see a snowy owl in the wild. So, earlier this week, on a very cold and windy day, we drove to Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area in Highlands, New Jersey, to have a firsthand look. We chose to go to Sandy Hook because snowy owl sightings had been reported there. My eagerness was fanned even more after viewing some of the gorgeous snowy owl photos posted on Flickr by fortunate owl spotters.
Sandy Hook has several different beaches along the Atlantic Ocean for swimming, fishing and nude sunbathing(!), as well as a historic military area, nature/hiking/biking trails and a bay side. Since it was quite frigid, there were very few people at the park. At first, we explored some of the beach areas, then we headed toward Ft. Hancock. After that, we walked along a cove on the bay side. The scenery was beautiful. Unfortunately, we did not see any snowy owls, not even a quick glimpse of one. As a consolation for our owl-less outing, however, there were plenty of entertaining gulls, several great blue herons and a small group of sanderlings running back and forth with the waves.
Linking to “Friday’s Fences” at Life According to Jan and Jer.
Posted in Outdoor spots
Tagged beach, birding, fence, friday's fences, nature, nature in New Jersey, owl irruption, photo, sanderlings, Sandy Hook, snowy owl, wildlife
A foggy day near the Raritan River. Linking to “Friday’s Fences” at Life According to Jan and Jer.
At the corner of the reservoir, in a secluded spot, the hunter (a.k.a. great blue heron) waits motionlessly for a morning meal. Linking to “Friday’s Fences” at Life According to Jan and Jer.
While taking a walk in the park, I found a little section by a fence that seemed to be bursting with autumn color — from the golden, end-of-day sunlight on the trees, to the carpet of fallen leaves. There was even a bench nearby for someone to sit and contemplate the scene. Linking to “Friday’s Fences” at Life According to Jan and Jer.