Saturday, February 20

When the rivers run free

It is a Spring ritual of mine to pay attention to the rivers as soon as they start to open up. A lot of birds that have been gone for awhile tend to come back, and some that stick around, but hidden in small corners, tend to show up more openly. In the past two days, I have seen five red-tailed hawks and three bald eagles in spots on or near the Connecticut River (in Southern Vermont and New Hampshire, on the border between the two states).

I'm going to start with an apology. I've grown out of the habit of blogging as much as I used to; not as much photography either. The reason is good, and valid, but I still feel like I've lost something. Well, in the very specific sense I have. Precisely, I've lost a bit of weight and finally started moving in the direction I need to for proper control of the diabetes. Being a complete and total geek I, of course, have to create a tool to track things, so I built a simple php graphing tool that tracks my steps per day, looking at averages over the previous 1-week, 2-week, 4-week & 8-week periods.

Since I started tracking all this walking (mostly at home, on the treadmill, but a bit of it outdoors as well) 133 days ago, I've walked over 3 million steps and over 1,125 miles. Considering that prior to doing this, I almost never walked more than 15,000 steps in a single day, and since I've started tracking, I've only gotten *below* 15,000 8% of the time, I think this is good progress.

But it, combined with one full time job and a part-time job as well, makes it more difficult to blog and, more importantly, takes time away from birding (not to mention my other passion, which is music, and what apparently is the CD project that will not die, as I keep working on it and it keeps not being done).

So I'm doing my best, blogging when I can, posting from time to time, but sometimes just feeling completely out of touch with what's going on. I stopped in the other day on Kos and noticed that my TU status was gone. That's only happened once before, so it was a bit of a surprise, but it makes sense that it would happen.

But tonight, I'm posting about birds. And I'm really happy to be doing so.

Below are some of the birds you can expect to find in New England as the waters open wide. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

A quick note: these are all smaller versions of the photos. Full sized versions are available as click-through links on the photos shown here.

One more thing: it looks as though I may be doing an exhibit this summer at the the Parker River visitor's center in Newburyport, MA. I will post more if/when I have confirmation.

American Bald Eagles

Common Goldeneyes

Common Loon

Common Mergansers

Great Cormorant in flight

Oh, and this Northern Harrier can be seen all winter, but I'm including it just for the value of its awesomeness:

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