I covered the first 30 miles or so in decent time. As I am trying to limit my mileage at the moment, this meant that I arrived in Wrentham at around 1:15. Fortuitously, I passed the Stony Brook Massachusetts Audubon Reserve at about the 30-mile point. Being that I had time to kill, I decided to spend a few hours just walking around the reserve. It was really nice to just spend a few hours birding without any expectations or goals. I am going to spend so much time and energy seeking specific species in specific places that I found it a welcome change to just wander around the reserve with no agenda whatsoever. It was really relaxing, even with the extreme cold.
I did crack off a few frames at the end of the day. Surprisingly, I have never photographed downy woodpecker. I am always chasing down other species, and I have just assumed that I would catch up with this very common bird at some point. Well, today was finally that point. I am so glad I decided to just sit around and enjoy a common bird over which I normally glance in hopes of finding something more exciting. Here's my favorite shot of him. Below is a shot of another very common bird, the black-capped chickadee, that I spent sometime enjoying as well.
*click for full sized image*
The more bird photography you do, the more you realize that what very often makes the shot is the background. Here I set up so that this branch was positioned in front of a black shed 10 meters or so behind the perch. I thought the dark background would really make this common bird "pop". I just waited for a bird to land on this branch. I am very happy with the results.