From my kayak 7/7-11

This week, our kayaks have taken us to the far reaches of Quechee Gorge, up the Pompy, and around Gilman Island into Mink Brook. We’ve seen several eagles and hawks:

Adult bald eagle. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21
Immature bald eagle. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21

I think this one is younger than the next picture. The eyes are darker and there is more white on the breast. The next one’s head is beginning to turn white and the eyes are lighter.

Immature bald eagle. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21
Broad winged hawk. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21

We’ve seen some herons, both great blue and green.

Immature great blue heron with fish. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21
Green heron in tree. Ompompanoosuc River. 7/7/21

and red-winged blackbirds.

Red winged blackbird. Ompompanoosuc River 7/7/21

We even saw a few ducks (mostly on the Connecticut and Mink Brook).

Wood ducks. Mink Brook 7/11/21
Mallard family preening. Connecticut River. 7/11/21

The painted turtles can be found on all three rivers.

Painted turtle. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21
Painted turtle surrounded by flies. Ompompanoosuc River 7/7/21

The damsel flies and dragon flies are flitting around.

Dragon fly. Ompompanoosuc River. 7/7/21
Damsel fly drying wings. Ompompanoosuc River. 7/7/21

and we even saw a strange creature moving slowly through water.

Photographer’s blind. Ompompanoosuc River. 7/7/21

From my kayak: End of the season. 10/18-24

The kayaks are put away for the winter, but we had several trips out in late October, a couple with Jane’s family.

Rick and Susie. Crystal Lake, Enfield, NH 10/24/2020
Rick and Adam. Lake Fairlee, VT 10/18/2020
Connecticut River. 10/22/20
Rick and Jamie. Crystal Lake, Enfield, NH 10/24/2020
Reflections. Lake Fairlee, VT 10/18/2020

The water fowl are skittish, and harder to find.

Common merganser. Connecticut River, 10/22/2020
Hooded mergansers take off. Mink Brook 10/22/2020
Mallard. Mink Brook. 10/20/2020
Canada goose. Crystal Lake, Enfield, NH 10/24/2020

but there are other birds to be found.

Great blue heron. Mink Brook, 10/22/2020
White throated sparrow. Connecticut River, VT 10/18/2020
Immature eagle. Ompompanoosuc River 10/20/2020
Loon. Crystal Lake, Enfield, NH 10/24/2020

From my kayak 9/24-10/12

We have had a lovely fall. Plenty of sun, reasonable temperatures, not much wind. We saw some of the standbys: cormorants, loons, mergansers, eagles, ospreys and mallards.

Cormorant Squam Lake 10/12/2020
Common loon getting winter plumage. Squam Lake, 10/12/2020
Common merganser. Ompompanoosuc River 10/11/2020
Mallard drake. Connecticut River. 10/5/2020
Osprey. Connecticut River 9/24/20

This time of year, we see some more unusual birds, many passing through.

Pied bill grebe. Connecticut River 10/5/2020
Black ducks. Connecticut River. 10/5/2020
White throated sparrow. Connecticut River, 10/14/2020
Yellow rumped warbler. Ompompanoosuc River, 10/1/2020
Red tailed hawk with a snake wrapped around its leg. Hartford, VT, 10/1/2020

The foliage has been lovely.

Leaf. Connecticut River, 10/1/2020
Jane on Mink Brook. 9/24/2020
Lower Baker Pond, 10/3/2020
Railroad bridge. Ompompanoosuc River 9/28/2020
Great Island. Squam Lake, 10/12/2020
River bend. Ompompanoosuc River 10/11/2020

Mostly from my kayak 9/5-14

It has been an interesting few weeks since my last post. My sons visited from Portland, OR. My husband had a heart attack (he is doing well). Instead of a week at Squam Lake we had planned, I was there for just 2 days. But I have been able to paddle my kayak and see some wildlife.

North Hartland Lake closed for the season on Labor Day. We went out on that Saturday and caught our last peeks at the eagles, cormorants and of course turtles.

Cormorant on the boom at North Hartland Lake. 9/5/20
Immature eagle and its parents. North Hartland Lake, VT 9/5/20

Painted turtle. North Hartland Lake, VT 9/5/20

The ducks are molting into their breeding colors.

Wood ducks. Mink Brook, Hanover, NH 9/13/2020

We found herons on all 3 of the rivers we paddle.

Green heron. Mink Brook, Hanover, NH 9/13/2020
Green heron. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20
Great blue heron. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20

and small birds and large.

Phoebe with web. Mink Brook, Hanover, NH 9/13/2020
Broad winged hawk. Ompompanoosuc River, 9/8/20

We saw a muskrat for the first time this year on the Pompy.

Muskrat. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20

and a young deer running across the playing field at Kilowatt Park.

Deer. Kilowatt Park, Wilder, VT 9/14/20

The most unusual animal we saw was a Northern phalarope as it was passing through. It nests in the Arctic and winters to the south.

Northern phalarope. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20
Northern phalarope. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20

From my kayak 8/13-8/24

We saw some unusual wildlife (for us) recently. At North Hartland Lake we came upon a bear swimming across the lake.

Black bear crossing the river. North Hartland Lake, 8/15/2020

The next time we were there, we saw a couple of coyotes.

Coyote. North Hartland Lake. 8/22/2020
Coyote digging. North Hartland Lake. 8/22/2020

They looked and acted so much like my dog Freya, it was uncanny.

Freya.

We have been watching green herons, both on the Connecticut and the Pompy.

Green heron. Connecticut River, Wilder, VT 8/24
Green heron yawning. Connecticut River 8/17/2020

We also saw some of the more usual wildlife: cormorants, ducks, geese, a merlin and of course, painted turtles.

Cormorants. North Hartland Lake, 9/15/2020
Wood duck. Connecticut River, Hanover, NH 8/17/2020
Mallard beginning to get breeding colors. Connecticut River, Hanover, NH 8/13/2020
Mallards preening. Connecticut River, Wilder, VT 8/23/2020
“Sentry” Canada goose. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 8/20/2020
Merlin. North Hartland Lake, 8/22/2020
Painted turtles on a log. North Hartland Lake, 8/15/2020