Local Voices: The Natural Beauty of Greenwich is All Around Us

Living Greenwich is proud to bring you another 'Local Voices' feature by Joe 'Boatographer' & Richard DeMarte...

 

There’s a difference between ‘looking’ and ‘really seeing’. That’s the way I like to describe my approach to enjoying so much of the natural beauty in Greenwich that is around us every day.

One example of this beauty can be seen in all 4 seasons and whether you’re in horse country, along the shoreline or on the waters...

I’m referring to the varied and stunning bird-life around us that can amaze and thrill those who take a bit of time to look for it. Having taken over 90,000 photos over just the past 3 years (mostly of birds), I’ve been fortunate and lucky enough to have captured some of these beautiful birds that call Greenwich their home.

So join me on a quick tour of a few dozen of my favorite shots which follow below. I hope they make you smile!

Click any image for a larger view:

Osprey catching bunker for lunch - DSC04145A1A Osprey catching bunker for lunch

Watching an Osprey making a high speed dive from 100 or more feet up in the air into the water to catch a meal by latching its sharp talons into a moss bunker (baitfish) swimming along the surface in large schools is truly a sight to behold.

 


 

Pileated Woodpecker digging for ants at Audubon Greenwich Pileated Woodpecker digging for ants at Audubon Greenwich

Audubon Greenwich is full of surprises, including this Pileated Woodpecker which is digging into a tree in search of bugs to eat.  The largest woodpecker in North America, the can be as large as 22 inches long.

 


 

Saw Whet Owl at Tods Point Saw Whet Owl at Tods Point

Saw Whet Owls, the smallest owls in the northeast, measure a mere 7 inches or so from head to toe.  This one was sitting quietly in a tree at Tod’s Point and seemed to be posing for me as a took a few photos of it.

 


 

Ruddy Turnstones on rocks at Saw Island Ruddy Turnstones on rocks at Saw Island

These Ruddy Turnstones often can be seen in the early morning hours as they land on the rocks along the shoreline of Greenwich Island inside Greenwich Cove to rest and enjoy the warmth of the morning sun.

 


 

Great Blackback Seagull and her 2 chicks in Greenwich Cove Great Blackback Seagull and her 2 chicks in Greenwich Cove

Springtime and early summer means it’s time for baby chicks.  Here’s a mother Great blackbacked Seagull with her little ones.

 


 

Here are two photos of a Black Crowned Night Heron, the first of which is as it was tip-toeing silently at low tide along the waters edge in the Mianus river hunting for food such as small fish, crabs and worms …. and in the second photo its seen flying over Tweed Island at the entrance to Indian Harbor.

 


 

Common Loon with Mantis Shrimp in Indian Harbor Common Loon with Mantis Shrimp in Indian Harbor

This Common Loon, swimming inside Indian Harbor, is seen here in mid-spring molting / color change and has just surfaced from a dive where it caught a small mantis shrimp to eat.

 


 

Loon in Greenwich Harbor Loon in Greenwich Harbor

Here’s a Common Loon in its full and gorgeous color pattern … and check out those glowing red eyes!

 


 

Osprey mom and 3 nearly grown chick Osprey mom and 3 nearly grown chick

This early summer family, which includes mother Osprey and her 3 growing chicks, can be seen in their nest atop the pole of a dock in Bellhaven on the west side of the entrance to Greenwich Harbor

 


 

This tiny (less than 10 inches long) and very skittish little bird is a Pie Billed Grebe which spent the winter swimming around the docks at Grass Island inside Greenwich Harbor.

 


 

Oystercatchers, as seen in these 2 photos as flying and resting atop a rock on Greenwich Island inside Greenwich Cove, can be seen all summer long and make a very loud and distinct cackling sound as they fly which sounds like laughter.

 


 

Here are 3 photos of Cormorants, which are seen in large numbers in Greenwich waters are very active birds.  These water birds can often be seen sitting on rocks and dock pilings with their wings spread wide to warm and dry them in the sun after they’ve been out diving for food, which includes small snapper bluefish, pipefish and other crabs and shrimp.

 


 

Laughing Gull grabs a small fish for lunch in Greenwich Harbor Laughing Gull grabs a small fish for lunch in Greenwich Harbor

Laughing gulls swopping down and grabbing small fish at the surface of the water also enjoy the bountiful waters of Greenwich

 


 

Last but not least, these 6 photos above are some of the many Ospreys living in the 17 nests along the Greenwich shorelines.  Also known as “Sea Hawks” these birds can be seen flying around Great Captains Island, sitting atop moorings inside Greenwich Cove, in the trees on Round Island and diving for a fish to eat all spring, summer and fall before they make their annual trip to Florida and South America where they spend each winter before returning to Greenwich to have more chicks each spring.

Photos taken (and writing contributed) by Joe 'Boatographer' & Richard DeMarte on the waters of Greenwich. Visit them on Facebook to learn more about their photography business (and book a photo shoot) or view more of their photos on Flickr!

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