Spring Birding in New Hampshire

Come along with me on my birding journey! I’ve been discovering birds that I’ve never seen before, photographing them and looking them up in my Sibley Guide when I return home. I’ve gotten out of the house several times since April to witness spring migration in all it’s glory!

The first rare bird I searched for was originally spotted last October in Epping, New Hampshire. But it was immature, and I wanted to see it in full color. Red Headed Woodpeckers are rarely seen here in New England, with only several sightings per year. I put my search off until April so that, if I found it, I could see the red. It took me a while to find the property near a marsh, and I walked around for a while, first eyeing birds like this one below:

My very first Red-Breasted Grosbeak.
Barn Swallows, which I’ve seen before, never looked so pretty to me as they did here!

I observed the Great Blue Herons as they flew into and landed on their nests in the rookery. This is a special wetland where wildlife thrives. All of this occurred as I was on the lookout for the Red Headed Woodpecker. I finally decided to walk to the other side of the marsh and see what was there. As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by this guy. I have never been so close to a Beaver before. This beaver swam right towards me, looking at me the whole time. It was like he recognized me from a prior life!

He’s an ambitious beaver!
Beavers are essential for the life of ecosystems. They dam up the water to create marshes and wetlands. Up to 400 species of wildlife live in each marsh. Marshes probably support more wildlife than any other habitat.
Great Blue Heron landing on its nest.

Not much luck w/ the Red Headed Woodpecker. So, I went home and came back another day to try again. As I was sitting alone at the edge of the marsh, (and later, as it turned out, being eaten alive by bugs) it flew onto one of the dead trees right in front of me. Yay!

The Red Headed Woodpecker is usually found in more Southerly and Mid-Westerly locales.
Both male and females have red heads.
This is as close as I could get without falling into the marsh, and my feet were pretty much soaked. It was worth 2 weeks of itching and scratching on my lower back.

I’ve also been biking and birding on my nearby rail trail, which isn’t like any other rail trail around. First, came The Ducks. The Hooded Mergansers, then the Ring Necked Ducks, then the Buffleheads, then the Wood Ducks. I am getting better at photographing the elusive Wood Duck…

The beautiful male Wood Duck!

Now…….The Warblers. I hid my bike off the main trail, and followed one of the side paths to see what was back there. I was hoping to find more Wood Ducks. But that is not what nature had in mind. What She had in mind were WARBLERS. I am getting pretty good at Warbler ID, and am very proud at this moment to be able to identify 15 different species of Warbler. On that side path, I spotted a Palm Warbler, a Common Yellowthroat and this Black & White Warbler:

A Yellow Rumped Warbler was the first Warbler I saw years ago, but this beauty visited my front yard this April, along with another Black & White Warbler below:

Brentwood is great in the spring time. It is a new area that I learned about recently, and so I decided to pay a visit to some new migratory birds who were passing through. These are brand new birds for me:

A Blue Winged Warbler. I think my camera lens caught the poop in mid-air.
and a Veery

The other exciting new Warbler I saw very clearly (but was unable to photograph) was a Wilson’s Warbler. A yellow bird with a black yamaka on its head. That’s exactly what it looks like – it’s a Jewish bird! I also saw a few Yellow Warblers that day, as well as an Ovenbird. Oh, the Warblers, I love the Warblers.

There were other creatures around, too.

These Painted Turtles were sunning themselves on a log.
Painted Red and Yellow.
And this Bullfrog hiding in the reeds.
Kingfisher.
There were several Pied-Billed Grebes in Brentwood.
At first I thought this was a female Grebe, but it is actually a female Hooded Merganser with 14 chicks.

It is good to get outside and connect with nature. It lifts the spirit and heals the soul. Thank you for reading my nature blog. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Spring Birding in New Hampshire

  1. This is wonderful! The pictures are amazing. You seem to love this work and it shows.

    Talk to you soon Wendy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  2. Your photography is amazing. I love all the different birds you posted. Particularly interesting now since we’ve had birdfeeders on the deck and have attracted numerous varieties, many of which I have no idea about but it has been fun watching.

    Like

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