Another Heat Wave

Summer continues to be extra wet and extra hot. But the hardcore photographers and birders are out there anyway.

The tide was coming in and starting to cover the mud flats near the mouth of the Merrimack River. We hoped to find some interesting shorebirds before the rising water forced them to move. The area directly in front of us was empty and then we noticed something large further out into the river. The angle of the sun and the distance made it hard to see it clearly but it was obviously an adult Bald Eagle. I managed to pull out some detail though. It was standing on a log in the mud that was gradually being submerged by the tide. The eagle waited until its feet were getting wet and finally had to leave.

We found a good number of shorebirds later but they suddenly took to the air when a Peregrine Falcon flew into the area.

Most (all?) of the Yellowlegs I have photographed this summer have been Greater Yellowlegs. On the last trip, I saw more Lesser Yellowlegs. They are smaller with a relatively shorter beak.

This photo of three Lessers with a Greater illustrates the size and beak differences. It is hard to be sure which is which when they aren’t together.

A Mallard swam up and decided that it wanted that shallow spot that the Lesser Yellowlegs was using. So he shooed him away.

This is fairly uncommon small duck, an American Wigeon. It hasn’t quite gotten all of his color back after molting.

This Osprey has a big catch but he is the runner up to the one in a recent post.

Two young Black-crowned Night Herons were poking around before roosting for the day.

I’ll end with a photograph of the Egret convention at the North Pool in the refuge.

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