July 26th, 2015

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Eastern Kingbird of the Plum Island


Here is another debut in the Chidlovski Blog Chidlovski. This is the Eastern Kingbird from the Plum Island.

It’s amazing that just a 75-minute drive north can take you to the place with the birds you don’t see in your area.

The Latin name for the Eastern Kingbird is Tyrannus tyrannus . It is a large flycatcher that is famous for his attitude and bold behavior. Kingbirds are afraid of nothing. Quite often,this big-headed, broad-shouldered bird can be seen chasing crows, Red-tailed Hawks, Great Blue Herons, and other birds that pass over its territory. Eastern Kingbirds often perch on wires in open areas and either sally out for flying insects or flutter slowly over the tops of grasses. They spend winters in South American forests, where they eat mainly fruit.

Welcome to Chidlovski Blog Chidlovski, Mr. King!

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Gray Catbird of the Plum Island


The previous post announced about upcoming publications of impressions of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in the Plum Island.

Here is just a tiny bid of sharing.

Absolutely fabulous Gray Catbird from the Plum Island.

Gray Catbirds are related to mockingbirds and thrashers, and they share their vocal talents, copying the sounds of other species and stringing them together to make their own song. Gray Catbirds are rather secretive. The Chippewa Indians called them The Bird That Cries With Grief because of their raspy calls. The song includes the meowing noises  and that was the reason behind the name of the Gray Catbirds.

Welcome to Chidlovski Blog Chidlovski, Gray Meow Bird!

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Only At Parker River










Our trip to the Plum Island and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge was a blast. Period.

We had plenty of time to do what we want. The weather was fantastic. The mind was rested and excited about the adventure.

We went to the Newburyport and Plum Island on several occasions before but somehow never planned to visit the wildlife area. This time the main goal of the trip was the Parker River area. The sightseeing and the birds we saw were well beyond our expectation.

The only downfall was the flies and insects in the area. The flying beasts with green heads seemed to have breakfast, lunch and dinner with our bodies while we were there.

The wildlife species were superb. They seemed to be more relaxed and fearless in the area. Most didn’t mind my camera and some even demanded more photographs of them.

But we’ll talk about this later. For now, just a few highlight shots of the park. Enjoy!

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Meet the Great One


I don’t mean Wayne Gretzky this time.

This time it is the Great Egret of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

We already had recorded several photo sessions with this bird at Chidlovski Blog Chidlovski. Most of them were made with telephoto lens when the egrets were far away in the marches. At the Parker River, the birds were much closer – 30-50 feet away from me and it was a good time to study this tall, thin and elegant creature.

The name comes from the French word aigrette, which means “ornamental tufts of plumes”. For a long time, the egrets were hunted to near extinction for their long white plumage. Now protected, the egrets feel safe in the places like the Parker River. They slowly stalk shallow wetlands searching for small fish to spear with their long sharp bills.

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Song Sparrow of Plum Island


Hi, Mr. Song Sparrow!

You a common fella in our area but I’ve never been able to get a close up of you! Thanks again!

Unlike many sparrow species, Song Sparrows rarely flock together.

Identifying sparrows’ subspecies is not easy.

However, these dark streaks on the chest with central dark spot ia a no doubts sign of the Song Sparrow.

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Red Winger of the Plum Island


This Red-Winged Blackbird was the first bird that allowed me to make a photo of him in the Parker River area.

I guess he knew that red-wingers are among my favorite birds.  He patiently waited for my zoom-focus routines and was only 10 feet away from him.

Oh, well five minutes later he said “Enough” and re-located closer to the water.

Jokes aside, the birds in the Plum Island are much more relaxed and trusting than in our area. Perhaps, it explains why safe distance from birds to humans is much shorter here.

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Great Blue Heron of Plum Island


Great Blue Herons are happy campers in the Parker River area of Plum Island.

They were happily walking along the water looking for small fish. Experts say Herons can strike at mice, squirrels, snakes, frogs or anything else that might come across.

Herons are known for barking like a dog when startled. Not om my watch at Plum Island. Perhaps, it was because of the signs “No dogs allowed” all over the place.

One might notice how Heron holds his neck in S-shape and call him a Super Bird!

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Lesser Yellowlegs of Plum Island


Here goes another newcomer for Chidlovski Blog Chidlovski.

This is Lesser Yellowlegs fellow.

He is a sandpiper bird that uses his long bill to pluck insects and tiny fish from water. Usually Lesser Yellowlegs comb shorelines and mud flats looking for aquatic insects.

Very shy bird. This one did “I am singing in the rain” while walking the shoreline.

Who taught him the song?

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Songsters of Plum Island











The whole photo session in this area of the Parker River took about an hour. During this time, the little fella Song Sparrow didn’t change his location and kept sitting on the same branch next to water. Amazing!

Anyway, a small slideshow with photos of Song Sparrows in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

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The Great Egret of the Plum Island












Usually, the egrets prefer a distant solitude in the wetlands, staying safe from human touch.

At the Plum Island, not only that egrets were much closer, but one of them actually landed 20-30 feet from the place I was with my camera. Apparently, he spotted some fish in the area or simply liked me.

Nah, in a few minutes he realized how close I was, studied me for good five minutes and then took off to a better food place.

All of these events were patiently recorded in the attached photos.

Thank you, Mr. Egret!

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Mystery of the Plum Island

This is a mystery for me…

While being at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, I saw this bird and I still fail to identify it.

Too big for a female cardinal…

Some sub specie of Grossbills?

It does look like a Pyrrhuloxia but they reside much more to the south the U.S. border.

Could it be some escape artist from one of the homes around? Is anyone looking foe a missing parrot Lola or so?

What kind of bird is it?