Sunday, October 17, 2010

Birds from the Great Swamp

Yesterday I was at the Great Swamp NWR on a cool and blustery day. Despite the unfavorable weather for bird observation, a lot of people were on the boardwalk trails, most of them gathered in two tour groups. The wind kept much of the bird activity out of view, but there were still birds to be seen. Winter residents are arriving in good numbers now.

Around the parking lot, I saw many Palm Warblers and a handful of Eastern Bluebirds, three of which sat for portraits.

There were some sparrows along the trails – mainly White-throated Sparrows but also an especially ruddy Swamp Sparrow. One Yellow-rumped Warbler caught insects from the boardwalk railing and sat out long enough for some photos.

It showed off the reason for its name. In some of these photos, it almost appears that the warbler evolved its plumage to blend with boardwalk railings.

There were a lot of waterfowl flying around in the distance, but I couldn't see any in the water visible from any of the blinds. The Friends Blind (the one closest to Long Hill Road) is entirely screened by reeds and brush right now, so the stream normally visible from the blind is not visible at all.