September 16,- It was 7:15 am and I stopped for a coffee to go in "town" at the Dunkin Donuts (yes that's right- Killingworth has a Dunkin Donuts). On my way down to Hammonasset, I had just pulled into the parking lot and heard that familiar deep croaking call; it was one of Killingworth's Ravens. The Ravens have been regular residents in Killingworth since showing up around fifteen years ago. It started with one pair that set up a homestead behind our house, and then slowly grew to multiple numbers. Now a day doesn't go by when you don't hear or see a single or several Ravens around our house or in town. This Raven landed on the utility pole>
It flew across the street and landed on the wires.....
.....and off it went.>
At Meigs Point in Hammonasset, the first Scoter (a juvenile drake Surf) swam by the jetty>
Two flocks of Greater Yellowlegs flew into the small marsh at the beginning of the Moraine Trail.....
Great Egrets and Black Ducks>
One of the few remaining Ospreys in the area and in the Park>
I looked up just in time to see the first Common Loon of the fall season. This one was migrating; it came from the north over the Park and continued flying southwest over the Sound until it vanished into the overcast distance>
Hammonasset's resident- the Tri-colored x Little Blue hybrid Heron in the marsh by the Meigs circle>
While I was watching the Heron, this Common Yellowthroat upstaged the Heron for a moment or two!>
I wish I could carve a Heron decoy in each and every preening pose I see. Herons are the masters of animated postures that project beautifully into sculpture!>
September 17- Hammonassett, Meigs Point- The sun returned this morning offering a beautifully clear sky. The only Shorebirds I saw were three Spotted Sandpipers on the Meigs Point jetty>
On Willard's Island a good morning flight of Passerines were hopping through the trees including this Red-eyed Vireo>
Way off in the distance, a female Kestrel circles the marsh.....
The second Golden Plover in a week. This transitional adult started the morning at the Nature Center parking lot, but eventually ended up on the field near the west beach parking lot where it had joined a flock of Kildeer>
This Plover was very actively feeding>
Good rear view showing the typical Plover "square-head" look>
The Plover started looking up into the sky overhead.......
.....and suddenly became very agitated and nervous!>
Then it started slowly sinking into a sitting position.....
......and began settling into the grass.>
Once in the sitting pose, the Plover began to flatten out its shape and silhouette.....
.....to the point of almost disappearing and blending perfectly into the grass. I knew that there had to be a winged predator somewhere over head. Looking up revealed what had the Plover worried.......
.....a circling Peregrine!>
It is amazing how this bird disappeared into the grass. Even the white supracilliary stripe blended beautifully appearing as a highlighted blade of dead grass!>
With the Peregrine and the danger gone...the Plover cautiously stands up again.....
.....and starts feeding again.>
Success! A small grasshopper>
Time to wash down the grasshopper!>
Back to the field to hunt more grasshoppers, crickets and beetles>
September and October Highlights 2 continues......Long-billed Dowitcher-
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