Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jan 8 (Day 8) - Southward bound

The first week was very successful, but it was a bit of a rehearsal for things to come. I started north of Boston, and I biked over familiar ground back to my apartment in Somerville. Now, I am completely leaving Boston behind as I start to head south to escape the winter weather. Today I made it as far as Wrentham, Massachusetts. This was a decent distance from Boston, and it put me within striking distance of Providence, Rhode Island where I hope to find Barrow's goldeneye tomorrow. I biked 34 miles today. I added 1 new bird, red-tailed hawk, to the list. I'll be birding in Rhode Island for the next 3-4 days. 

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.


  1. Common or not, those are nice images. I'm really amazed that you can do photography at that level by bike.

  2. I am really enjoying your blog and have followed it from the start. What camera and lens are you riding with? I have seen references to carrying a tripod and scope-are you digiscoping? Good birding and stay warm.

  3. It was a pleasure to host you last night, Dorian. I wish you good luck on your trip!

    My sister and brother-in-law were serious about hosting you if/when you reach the Gardnerville, NV area, so let me know as you get closer and I can get you all their contact information.