We had a friend visit us during the last weekend in October. There was no pressure to do anything or show him the sights, but he enjoyed birding, so we tried to take him to preserves that were popular to local birders. I knew that there was a birding group that wandered around Beech Hill once a week, so I thought that would be a good place. Maybe it was too late in the season and all the birds had migrated to their winter destinations, but the only birds he found were some yellow-rumped warblers. He actually found more birds at our backyard bird feeder each morning, where not only did we spot the usual suspects but we were also visited by the occasional red-breasted nuthatch and the red-bellied woodpecker.
On October 31st we decided to take our friend for a stroll around Clark Island. Although I had brought my camera I did not anticipate taking too many pictures since this was going to be more of a bird walk then me stopping every few feet to photograph a flower. In addition, with the leaves down and very few flowers still blooming, I find it difficult to find things to photograph during this time of year
As we walked across the causeway to the island, we noticed that tide was way out. Of course, that meant that the birds were not at all close to the beach area. Even the seabirds were going to be hard to find. Once we left the road that ran down the middle of the island and headed towards the east side of the preserve, we were a little further out from the mainland. Here, I took a picture of some grass that caught the sun just right to attract my attention. Later, I shot a picture of a small primrose for identification purposes, since the ones that I have seen in the past were closer to 4 feet tall.
Now that the path followed the water, our friend had better luck spotting some of the seabirds. Focusing his binoculars on a small rock island some ways out from where we stood, he spotted 3 seals resting on the rocks. I knew my 150 mm lens was not going to get a decent picture of them and it was just one of those times that I wished I had my 600 mm lens. Unfortunately, that lens was way too big for me to carry, and my Sherpa hadn’t thought about bringing it. (You just can’t get good help these days.)
Reaching the boundary line of the preserve the trail turned, leading us past the quarry and away from the shore. Soon, we were back on the road, headed towards the mainland. When we reached the sign for the West Trail, we hesitated for just a moment before deciding to explore that side of the island as well. I did not take any pictures of this section, but it was completely different from the previous trails. Here we walked through a moss-covered forest with some up and down sections. It looked like an enchanted fairy land. Occasionally, we had some glimpses of water on this side as well, but it seemed more protected from the wind than the east side. This loop was about a mile. After finishing up the loop, we headed back towards the mainland and home. It had been an enjoyable morning.