Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dropping in

I did my volunteer gig today at the bird observatory and spent an hour or two afterwards stalking the less-than-abundant waterfowl with my camera. Sandy Hook should be really good now, but the huge rafts of ducks I expect to see in the winter aren't here.

My favorites, the long-tailed ducks, were too far out in the bay for even my 200-400mm lens to reach nicely. They are such beautiful ducks; black and white with short, pointed dark wings. They were very vocal today - the males almost yodeling - have you ever heard them sing? Listen for them; you won't soon forget the sound of their courting.

Despite this lens that's near as long as my arm and which seems to weigh about as much as I do, the few small groups of waterfowl were little more than specks in a sea of blue. But the Canada Geese and Brant at Plum Island were close enough and cooperative and the light was good, so I found a dry spot in the marsh to sit and spent an hour or so in the company of these common birds. This pic was my favorite, a Canada dropping into the marsh and caught in the middle of putting on the brakes to land.

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The Good Planets show will be here again next Saturday, in case you've been newly inspired to submit a photo. Send one or two pics to me at lc-hardy AT comcast DOT net sometime before Friday. Wasn't this week's show grand? Thanks to all who submitted photos and stopped by to comment.

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Every so often I get brave enough to tackle HTML code and add the links of some blog friends to the sidebar. In the last week or two I've added quite a few from my bookmarks that I hope you'll visit sometime. One of those friends, Vicki of Outside In, calls the community of people she links to her neighborhood. That's a nice way of looking at it, don't you think? What I find really neat is that often once I add a link here, I see that some of you are visiting that blog and making friendships of your own; maybe initially because of that link. I know that I've made some friends because of the links you include on your blogs. Anyway, that's just my long-winded way of saying thank you for being such kind and supportive people. It's nice to see people being nice to one another, you know? Oh, and go drop in at Vicki's; she's got a great blog and is very funny. Here's a link to her most recent post which had me in stitches.

14 comments:

Cathy said...

Beautiful photo. Though Canada Geese are common and even considered a nuisance in some communities they thrill me as they come in overhead calling to one another and drop into the water with splashing grace.

I will, indeed,check out your neighborhood :0)

John said...

Nice shot of the goose.

Mary said...

Laura,

That is a terrific photo of "the landing". You have a lens the length of an arm???

This is my fourth month at blogging and since I found you, my blogroll is what I look forward to every morning and night. You add so much joy to your blogging friends. Thank you so much, Laura.

I viewed Vicki and put her in my favorites. You know I love a good laugh and she can really deliver! LOL

LauraHinNJ said...

Mary: It's not really that long, but it seems that way. You get better zoom with your new camera than I do with my big lens. Go figure. I think to get really nice bird pics I need one of those lenses you see on the sidelines of a pro football game!

I was thinking of you when I suggested visiting with Vicki, actually. She has your kind of sense of humor. I'm sort of awe-struck by you folks who can write with humor.

John: Hi - thanks.

Cathy: I love to hear them migrating at night in the pitch dark. A very evocative sound.

bunnygirl said...

So that's your secret-- a fancy camera! I guess I should've known. ;-)

That's sad there's not as many ducks as usual. I hope it's not a sign of a bigger problem.

DKM said...

I'll have to see if I can scare up a picture.

mon@rch said...

I just loved your shot of this Canada Goose landing! I would have loved to seen those Brant's!!
TOM

Jimmy said...

Really nice...and we got snow.....YES!

Sandy said...

Laura,
Do you think our unusual weather may be the reason for seeing fewer birds?

Jayne said...

Love the photo Laura! "Goose on a runway!" :c) The Good Planets photos were amazing indeed. Will have to see what I can find in my files.

NatureWoman said...

I love the photo of the goose in motion! Great shot!

Liza Lee Miller said...

Laura, I LOVE that shot! Always nice when a normally graceful bird looks silly!

Thanks!

robin andrea said...

That's a lovely photo, Laura. Really sweet. I'm glad you linked to Vicki. She's an absolute delight. Such a gifted writer and fantastic sense of humor. I like your neighborhood!

LauraHinNJ said...

Bunnygirl: I think the ducks must be staying closer to their nesting places because of the warm weather. Maybe this will be a good season for breeding. (Trying to look on the positive side.)

Diva Kitty: Do try to scare something up!

Monarch: Are you excited about Brant? Where are you? lol!

Jimmy: I'm glad for your snow - will you send some (lots!) this way, please?

Sandy: Yes, it must be. Waterfowl move south when their northern lakes and bays freeze over - if that doesn't happen - why move south for the winter? I'd love to know if people north of here are seeing larger numbers than usual.


Jayne: Glad you liked Good Planets - send me something to include!

Naturewoman: I liked it too. Interesting pose!

Liza: I love the feet stretched out!


Robin: It made me smile. I really like Vicki's blog and wish I had such funny stories to share.