Surprise Viewing in Alewife Pond

Last Saturday evening’s paddle in Long Pond treated us to a variety of wildlife:

Eastern kingbird with nesting material
Eastern kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) carrying nesting material.
Canada goose on nest
Canada goose (Branta canadensis) found some prime nesting real estate adjacent to the pond.
Spadderdock's (Nymphaea odorata) bright yellow flowers were scattered among the Fragrant Water Lilies (Nymphaea odorata), covering much of the shallower sections of Long Pond.
Spadderdock’s (Nymphaea odorata) bright yellow flowers dotted the shallower sections of Long Pond amongst the Fragrant Water Lilies (Nymphaea odorata).

Our paddle the next morning up Alewife Brook and into Alewife Pond took the prize with an unforgettable sighting of our national bird:

3rd year Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Alewife Pond. It's presence was made very well known by several crows' nonstop cawing.
3rd year Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Alewife Pond. It’s presence was made very well known by several crows’ constant cawing and some Canada geese honking.

Spring Colors

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Shades of beach greens amidst a foggy backdrop.
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Mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) fledgeling camouflaged in the backyard leaf litter.
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Piping plover’s (Charadrius melodus) full clutch of speckled eggs blend in nicely with surrounding sand, rocks and shells.
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Oldfield toadflax (Linaria canadensis) thrives in a back dune and adds small spashes of blue and purple.
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Baltimore oriole’s (Icterus galbula) striking orange contrasts a crabapple tree in bloom.

Nissequogue River Paddle: Signs of Spring

Last Saturday we had perfect weather and an incoming tide for a great paddle up the Nissequogue River from Nissequogue River State Park (just upstream of the outlet to Long Island Sound) to the take-out on Rte. 25A near “The Bull.” Most of the riverside vegetation showed some tint of green as leaf buds are swelling and unfurling, and tracks of the horseshoe crab (but no eggs) were found at one beach stop.  Lots of brant and lesser yellowlegs stopping to feed en route to their nesting sites in northern Canada, and a couple of great and snowy egrets…both local nesters.  Upstream, where the water was less saline, we encountered several large snapping turtles basking in the shallows.

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