Once again in pursuit of Bald Eagles I kayaked a portion of the Carmans River. This time, my wife and I put in at Squassax Landing on the south end of the river and made the short trip to Little Neck Run which is where the Eagle Nest is. While kayaking the small, winding creek we spotted plenty of wildlife but no Eagles (despite the presence of a very large stick nest). A raccoon was fishing from the shoreline (but camera shy), many deer were seen or heard near the water's edge, turtles were basking in the sun and birds constantly were calling in the cattail marshes (Marsh wrens - above/below and song sparrows - below - included). This is a really beautiful place and a nice break from the somewhat monotonous lower portion of Carmans River.
After we kayaked the creek, we headed to the mouth of the River where I saw and photographed a non-breeding adult Red-throated Loon, certainly an unusual species for this time of year. Photographing this bird was exceedingly difficult as it's a diving bird so once it goes under you don't know where it will re-surface. Additionally, its low profile in the water and monotone colors made for a tough shot.
As we headed back to the marina I saw an Osprey above which is one of the many nesting pairs in Wertheim Wildlife Refuge. As the photo shows, it was returning with it's most recent catch. The menhaden (aka bunker, aka pogy) looks none-too-happy to be caught in the talons of this powerful bird.
Switching gears away from birds - I have been completely unsuccessful in finding Fox this year. In the past few springs I have been fortunate enough to locate red fox dens supporting kits which are some of the cutest and most photogenic animals around. This year, however, despite my efforts I came up empty time and time again. This afternoon (in the stifling heat/humidity) I had to stop at a family friend's down the road briefly. Looking out into their 4 acre field I of course spotted several fox. Right in my proverbial back yard. I returned with my camera and got a few photos - though they were a bit shy and skittish. Hopefully I'll have a few more chances.
Switching photographic gears one last time, I took a day trip to Davis Park (Fire Island) yesterday and took the 8:20 ferry back, just in time for sunset. I was treated with a nice showing as we walked down the boardwalk while the boat came in.
If you're interested in learning more about Long Island or its wildlife - check out this excellent book written by my friend John Turner (the book features over a dozen of my images!):