I visited the Roy H. Park Preserve a couple more times in recent weeks in order to explore the northern part of this small, quiet, and absolutely lovely place. The preserve's northern trail winds through meadow and wetland, and along the forest's edge (another trail branches off into those woods, which are part of neighboring Hammond Hill State Forest). I'm thoroughly enjoying this preserve, and I found lots of interesting sights during my recent visits.
When I visited the preserve one morning in the last week of July, a (young?) Green Heron was hunting small fish:
The heron didn't appreciate that the trail brought me so close to its perch, and it soon flew off to find a new hunting spot:
A male Common Yellowthroat foraged next to the water:
An American Robin was chowing down on the berries of what I presume is an invasive bush honeysuckle:
Another robin landed on a perch just above my head, and I took the opportunity to admire this handsome bird up close:
A perfect little butterfly (some sort of crescent) sat on a perfect Queen Anne's Lace cluster:
A Muskrat passed quickly through the water near the boardwalk:
When I came back to this same part of the preserve this past Sunday, the Muskrat appeared again, this time pulling a large flowering Joe-Pye Weed stem through the water after it; the Muskrat dove underwater, and the plant went down as well, presumably into a den to be munched on:
I was very happy to see Red-spotted Newts swimming in the water; I love these little guys!
A juvenile male Rose-breasted Grosbeak made a brief appearance (again, in a honeysuckle), showing off its still rather patchy pink breast and black head:
A set of neat tube-like structures in a dry stream bed posed a bit of a puzzle, although my guess is that these are the work of a wasp or some other insect that's good at building things with mud:
So now I know that the Roy H. Park preserve is wonderful throughout, and the trail into Hammond Hill State Forest's woods was very inviting. I have a feeling I'll be back and exploring more soon!