Friday, July 05, 2013

Roadie: Braddock Bay Park

Jack on the boardwalk at Braddock Bay Park. (7/3/13)
Wednesday morning, my son, Jack, and I went on a field trip to Braddock Bay Park. Located  on Lake Ontario in Greece, New York, the park is just 20 minutes from our Rochester home and about a 5 minute drive from my place of employ. Braddock Bay Park is most widely known locally as a great place for birding, and advertises itself as such, which is why we decided to make the short trek. I had read a number of articles about the park and was looking forward to seeing what we could see.

The Laura and Neil Moon Hawk Lookout. (7/3/13)
It was a very foggy morning on the marsh, but this dissipated even over the relatively short amount of time that we were there. Excited by the prospect of possibly seeing some raptors in action, we were disappointed to find only the most common small birds, all of whom were also visible from our backyard.

Close-up of identification chart at the Hawk Lookout. (7/3/13)
View from the lookout to the bay-line. (7/3/13)
The "head" of the trail leading to the boardwalk out into the marsh. (7/3/13)
The boardwalk. (7/3/13)
Further into the marsh on the boardwalk. (7/3/13)
While the board walk (and the park as a whole) is purported to provide excellent viewing of waterfowl nesting, resting and feeding habitats, there is one thing that the visitor needs to bring with them: patience. This was our first ride out here, and the very peaceful environs alone made the trip worthwhile, as did the opportunity to walk around with Jack. Though we both wish there had been more unique aviary interactions going on, we did come to the conclusion that this would be a wonderful place to return with the intent of spending time waiting for observable events in the natural world to unfold. "Things" are not likely to happen right in front of you but taking one's time with an observable eye would definitely create a more engaging experience here.

View from the boardwalk. (7/3/13)
Expensive bay-front property. (7/3/13)
It is important to remember that the primary wildlife objectives for this area are to maximize waterfowl production and provide prime feeding and resting areas for migratory waterfowl, not to provide thrilling wildlife engagements a la National Geographic television. The opportunity to watch in such a peaceful locale can be a thrilling respite from an otherwise hectic day, though.

Red-winged Black bird, Agelaius phoeniceus. (7/3/13)
One species of bird we did observe flitting around the marsh was a Red-winged Blackbird. Given the bold red coloring on the upper part of the wing, these little fellows were easy to spot and identify. Taking a clear picture from a distance was another matter, but we were fortunate to snap a few shots worth posting.

Taking flight. (7/3/13)
"Bright fog" is not quite the oxymoron one would think.(7/3/13)

No comments: