Saturday, January 16, 2010

Old Beach Road

I went out the door this morning intending to hit the two big ponds behind Easton's Beach - Easton's (aka "Big") Pond and Green End (aka "North") Pond - to check out the waterfowl populations who winter there. On Easton's Pond there are usually mixed rafts of Mallards, Green and Blue-winged Teal, Ruddy Ducks, Canvasbacks, Lesser Scaup, and of course the ubiquitous, noisy rafts of Canada Geese. And Green End Pond is the Winter home to large numbers of Common Mergansers, with some Hooded Mergansers hanging around the fringes.

But alas, it wasn't to be! The cold weather we've been having since before Christmas has both ponds frozen over. The thought that this might be occurred to me halfway there, so I changed my route to arrive at a place where I could see both ponds at once, and sure enough, when I got there it was pretty obvious that there was no open water in sight. So I went back towards town to pick a route to head towards the beach, and ended up walking down Old Beach Rd.

And the first thing I saw heading down Old Beach Rd. was this fine example (above left) of a Red-tailed Hawk cruising over the area. It landed way up in an old Beech tree that was situated so that I had to shoot through considerable branch and twig interference to get a good shot; I kept moving around to find holes in the undergrowth, and the spot from which I got this shot was the best one.

Farther down the road it passes by the moat and berm that surround Easton's Pond (the moat carries run-off from the pond); the moat is moving water and some of the ducks hang out there if the pond is frozen over, so I headed there in hopes of getting a shot of something today. While I was walking, I heard the usual Corvine racket, and looked up in the tree I was passing to see a Crow up there fussing at me. He was in a conversational mood and seemed willing to pose, so I clicked away. The shot that came out best has him with his beak open in mid-caw. Typical pose; they never shut up!

And of course the ubiquitous Mallards were swimming around in the moat, so I got a nice photo shoot there, too. These two shots worked the best.

So today's walk wasn't a total loss!

© 2010 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. great pics - as usual!

    we are in the middle of a big thaw! expect it on its way to your neck of the woods.

    crossing my fingers that we get some blue sky tomorrow - all grey today

  2. GREAT SHOTS !the colour especially is brilliant.
    A question.If teeth "chatter" do beaks "rattle"?

  3. Excellent! No, I would say not a loss at all.

  4. our snow is mostly melted, sure to return...

    it always amazes me how big crows are...

  5. And you know already, my fav is the crow. Such fascinating creatures!

    Your camera sings, the crow caws and all is well on Old Beach Road.

  6. These are really really great! I love crows. David Suzuki had a great documentry on his Nature program about how crows can teach their the study they taught their babies who was bad people...and they remembered when they were older and could recognize the same person who terrorized them.

    Those colours on those ducks are a marvel!