|Little Peconic River, Cranberry Bog Preserve|
|Little Peconic River, looking the other way from the bridge..|
The Elizabeth Morton Wildlife Refuge is a 187 acre penninsula on Noyack and Little Peconic Bays. It is best known for it's stunning waterfront and for friendly birds. Unfortunately the refuge is being over run by invasive plants..most notably mile-a-minute vine Despite new signs everywhere, saying "don't feed the wildlife" folks still come to feed the birds and they are tame.
|Tirmouse, the birds posed..I take no credit!|
|Hello! Eastern Towhee.|
|I feel friendly!|
|White Throated Sparrow|
|As I've said, the birds are friendly..|
|Snow etched trees in recently designated park land,|
right down the street from me!
|Winter Wonderland at Quoque Wildlife Refuge. |
Rescued animals are tended at this refuge
|Pond at Quogue Wildlife Refuge|
Calverton Ponds Preserve is 350-acre oak-pine forest containing coastal plain ponds, one of the rarest wetland types in North America. Coastal plain ponds are fed by ground water, rather than streams. After the turn of the 20th century, Calverton Ponds were altered to create commercial cranberry bogs, which were in operation for over 50 years. Now they are home to fragile ecosystems and rare plants and animals
|Reflections on Block Pond|
|Sandy Pond on a windy day|
|Cold Ducks on Forge River|
|Forge River is a mecca for ducks in the winter|
But I had better luck having ducks pose for me, near the Smithpoint Bridge, over Bellport Bay. Smithpoint is the gateway to the Fire Island National seashore.
|Red Breasted Merganser.|
|Pair of Western Grebes|
|A baffle of Buffle heads ;-)|
|Sunset that night, Over Bellport Bay|
|Deer hoping for food in Smith Point parking lot. |
Of course it is forbidden to feed them. Of course it is done.
Ducks are not the only wildlife to overwinter on Long Island..Seal cruises offered by the Riverhead Foundation, leave from the Freeport Town dock in Nassau County, to explore Hempstead Bay. On the day I went out we found a group of 45 Harbor Seals. Harbor Seals can also be seen on foot, at Cupsogue Beach in Suffolk County.
|Time to leave Winter..|
|Another fine Sunset over Bellport Bay..|