Saturday, November 09, 2013

Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

This week I made my first Fall visit to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Nearly every visit to this small refuge evokes in me a mental disconnect. It is in the City of Philadelphia. I have been in Center City on occasions when the only bird life to be seen was the House Sparrow. Even pigeons were absent.

By contrast, Heinz refuge is a haven for scores of species - living, breeding, migrating. This is waterfowl season, and there were large flocks of dabblers and divers feeding on the impoundment ... until something puts them into the air, like the resident eagle passing overhead ...

Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal at Heinz Refuge
When we "zoom out" on the flocks in the above photo, we get a feel for the number of waterfowl present, and the "disconnected context" of the refuge. In the not too distant background are the garages, terminals, control tower, and hotel of the Philadelphia International Airport ...

The trail around the impoundment borders the far end of the water visible in the above photo and within a few yards of freight rail lines and commuter lines ...

Turning around from the above sights, I have had my best sightings anywhere of Rusty Blackbirds, and along the same trail have had great photo ops for Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Northern Saw-whet Owl, and others.

This week it was Greater Yellowlegs that was close at hand. I have had numerous good photos op for this shorebird, but not recently. Seize the opportunity ...

Greater Yellowlegs
Greater Yellowlegs
Center City Philadelphia from the refuge
Eventually there was sun, and wonderful Fall colors, and all only minutes from the financial heart of a major city.

Good Birding!


eileeninmd said...

Great post! I have been wanting to visit this NWR. Looks like you saw some great birds. Happy Birding!

Romans said...

I live in Philly and have visited Heinz NWR several times. It's usually worth the trip.



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