Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Birding by Kayak Brings My Year List to 173 Species

A kayak is a wonderful tool for birding and photography, allowing birders to move quietly along wetlands, ponds and rivers without disturbing wildlife. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
It's been a busy summer, and while I have managed to get outdoors a decent amount, I've had practically no time to update this blog. Suffice it to say I added no new species in July or August, but recently I managed to get out on the Charles River in a kayak for a couple of hours and was delighted to not only add a Black-Crowned Night Heron to my year list, but to see many other species of birds as well, including many Wood Ducks, at least 5 Great Blue Herons, two rather noise Belted Kingfishers chattering loudly as they swooped down to grab small fish and then return again briefly to the dead branch of a tree stick up out of the water.

I heard many racuous American Crows and Blue Jays calling so I kept alert for signs of raptors-  I did see one hawk circling high overhead, likely a Red-tailed Hawk, but too far off for me to definitively ID without binoculars. The best find of the day, however, was definitely the Black-crowned Night Heron, a normally quite secretive species that I found perched at the edge of the river on the branches of a half-submerged tree. The heron was not skittish at all and as I drifted past I was able to get a photo with my phone before it took off.

A Black-crowned Night Heron perches in a branch sticking up out of the Charles River in Newton, Massdachusetts. Image Copyright Daniel E. Levebnson 2013

 I spent the rest of my time paddling into hidden pockets and back behind the edges of lilly pad fields, in search of more ducks and wading birds. It was nice to gert back out not only on the water but to do a little more serious birding than I've had the time to attempt this past sumnmer. Hopefully this Fall will bring more birding adventure, which I will of course write about here.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright Danniel E. Levenson 2013.