Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

I was at the Montgomery Township municipal complex for the farmers’ market and just as I got out of the car I heard the song of the Eastern Bluebird. The X-T3 and XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR were still in the car from the morning walk around Charles H. Rogers Wildlife Refuge.

The Eastern Bluebirds favoured a few of the trees near the corner of a fenced-in area at the southern end of the parking lot. I didn’t notice it at first but the fence is the boundary for what appears to be a very small cemetery.

The municipal complex houses the Montgomery Township library, a new modern facility that offers a wide range of services. It has a diverse collection of books, e-books, audiobooks, and digital resources available for borrowing. The library also provides access to computers, Wi-Fi, and printing facilities for public use. Additionally, they host various events, workshops, and programs for all age groups, including children's storytimes, adult literacy classes, book clubs, and cultural events. This summer, the Montgomery Friends of Open Space will host their farmers’ market in the parking lot of the library.

The image was backlit. I had to work on recovering the detail in the shadows.

Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis)
Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis) · 27 April 2024 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

I had put the Merlin ID app away, and chatting with Bhavna as we walked around the small loop had become my main focus. On the trail back to Pole Farm, the trees receded and we were once again surrounded by the expanse of meadow. Despite cradling the digital camera equivalent of a newborn human, somewhere along [our walk around the small loop], I had forgotten the main reason I chose Mercer Meadows for the day's walk. We stopped at "Pole Farm" to read the small sign with a description of what stood in the space.

In the early 20th century The "Pole Farm" was once a key site for AT&T's international telephone call network. "Pole Farm" at Mercer Meadows has transformed over the years into a natural reserve with scenic trails and wildlife habitats. In the spring and summer, one can see lush meadows, woodlands, and wetlands, home to a diverse flora and fauna." Pole Farm", has become known as a prime birding location, attracting birding and bird photography enthusiasts.

There’s a squarish bit of grass that creates a rest area at the intersections of the crisscrossing trails. It may have been the former location of a building. Metal girders painted red surround this spot acting as visual borders between the meadow brush. A large metal arch provides the feeling of a doorway to the benches and restroom areas which provide opportunities to rest and enjoy the meadow views.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) sitting in a flower tree.
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) · 16 March 2024 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

Bhavna, maybe feeling that I was disappointed in not seeing any birds, pointed excitedly to one of the nearby flowering trees placed at the corners of the rest area. She pointed excitedly and said, "It’s so pretty". I could hear a bird singing melodiously from the nearby tree.

I saw a small and colourful bird, 15 to 20 cm in size, singing as though he were in attendance at a Bob Marley, with Master Marley belting out lyrics from "Three Little Birds"; "Don't worry about a thing. 'Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!".

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) sitting in a flower tree.
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) · 16 March 2024 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR

This Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) and I had an understanding. He did not move his short slender body as I gingerly approached to fill the frame at 600m, the XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR sticking out from my face like a large nose. His black eyes and slightly curved bill looked toward the distance. Dressed in a vibrant deep blue hoody with a large rusty-red scarf and white pants, my subject and I worked together on this portrait photoshoot.

NOTE: I am visiting Mercer Meadows more often since I discovered Dan Day's The Jersey Birder website. With just a few visits Mercer Meadows has provided more opportunities for bird photography than the Charles H. Rogers Wildlife Refuge, my previous hot-spot. Check out his Springing into Spring post.