Wanamassa Birds

I frequently stroll the streets of Wanamassa, NJ, with camera at the ready to take pictures of birds.

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Location: Ocean, New Jersey, United States

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Remarkable Manasquan Reservoir Visit

A traffic jam where Route 18 feeds into 138/195 meant that it was five fifteen before I was able to park at the environmental center at Manasquan Reservoir. The building itself was closed but the park and walkways were still open. I walked the relatively new path that takes you to the osprey nest. And an adult was there easily visible.

It seemed to hear the clicking of the camera because it turned its head towards me.

This image gives a good impression of how the nest looks with the naked eye.

I moved on and got this shot from a different angle. Now I could see that there were youngsters in the nest.

So I went back to my original vantage point and the adult bird put on a show for me.

Later, the three birds were all visible so I took this parting shot. The youngster in the middle is calling, perhaps trying to attract the attention of the other adult, although I never saw it.

While all this was happening, I was distracted by this bird. I thought it was a swallow taking a rest because I was sure that I had watched it fly across the water and then on to this branch which was only a few feet from where I was standing. But looking at the pictures afterwards, I don't recognize the bird. Identification is not helped by the fact that in one picture the bird has its head tilted a long way in one direction while in the other it is tilted the other way. Does anyone recognize this bird? [Edit: it's an Eastern Kingbird. I've seen a couple of them before at the end of our street. This is just my third sighting.]

Then, I missed a great picture of a downy woodpecker. As I pursued the downy, I realized there were some cedar waxwings in the area. I'd known they were there for weeks, but this was the first time I've been able to get even halfway decent pictures of them. While not the greatest picture, this was the first I managed after what seems like weeks of trying:

This is the same bird a few moments later.

I couldn't really tell how many cedar waxwings there were. They were moving around so quickly. It could be there were just two, but I couldn't tell.

I think this was the first time I've seen cedar waxwings feeding. Previously, they've just been sitting around. I was surprised how hard I was having to work to get pictures.

And here's another view of what might well be the same bird.

At one point, as I was hurrying along the path trying to keep up with the cedar waxwings, I suddenly saw another bird on the path ahead of me.

A brown thrasher! I'd previously only seen a couple of these birds and both of them in our backyard.

Of course, it ran away from me, but at least it didn't fly away.

However, I was destined to not get a good front view. This picture of its left side was the best I could get.

And then I ran into another bird I didn't recognize. In this case, it could be that I simply didn't see enough of the bird. It was in a small tree above me enjoying the fruit.

Can anyone help identify this bird and the earlier one I mistook for a swallow? [This is probably a catbird. The other an Eastern Kingbird.]


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