Saturday, October 2, 2021

September roundup

Well, I passed through Nahanton Park quite a few more times in September after the last post. Here are some photos. I'll let you id them! Hint: Not all of them are birds!

Friday, September 3, 2021

Fall Warbler bonanza

After Ida's rains, I thought the Park might be exciting this morning. I was right! 33 spp, including four American Redstarts and this Tennessee Warbler at the back of the upper garden (along with Northern Parula and Common Yellowthroat)

a nice juvenile Northern Mockingbird on the soccer field

But the best display was in a birch and pine at the edge of Woodcock Meadow -- this fall Blackpoll Warbler ...

this Black-throated Green Warbler 

a pair of Northern Parulas


and, the best surprise of all, a beautiful Connecticut Warbler, only my second time seeing this bird! 

And an almost tail-less Song Sparrow permitted this portrait --

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mothers Day and more

Alison Leary and I ran an impromptu and unadvertised Mothers Day walk on Sunday. I failed to get decent photographs of the consensus bird of the day - Wood Thrush. I think there are at least three breeding pairs in the park now. 

We also enjoyed the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks around the nature center --


I'd been there on Friday, and found this Least Flycatcher (that responded to a recording) 

as well as a small sample of warblers and a Blue-headed Vireo. 

This morning I went through the Park again. Immediately a Veery appeared, in the copse between the entrance road and the lower garden -

At the soccer circle there was this female Orchard Oriole, high in a tree --

and just as high in a tree at the upper garden, this Nashville Warbler. 

Sunday, May 2, 2021


Yellow Warbler
Got to the park around 7:30. It was 52 degrees and the clouds were making way for some beautiful sunshine.

The house wrens are back in a big way! It seemed like they were everywhere! There were so many singing, I wasn't even sure which way to turn! Our tree swallows are guarding their boxes. Robins and jays were there of course, as well as song sparrows and mourning doves. A Canada goose flew over ahead. My first oriole male was spotted - his bright orange and black looking so beautiful against the background of the white crabapple flowers.

Chipping Sparrow
The upper gardens had several chipping sparrows and cowbirds milling about under a hanging feeder. A
red-bellied woodpecker called from the woods. The catbirds are back and singing furiously. Mrs. Robin was not in her nest, but I have seen her there on other days. And a yellow warbler couple is back! Yay!

At the circle near the soccer field, there was suddenly a lot of activity and brightly colored yellow rump males and females appeared as well as a black & white warbler and a lone palm warbler. When the flurry died down, I heard a wood thrush singing hear the soccer field. I walked through the brush in search and finally found it, though every time I approached it moved and then flew off. Its song is so pretty.

When I check out the pond, I was surprised to see a creature swimming. Was it a beaver or a muskrat? It would swim and then dive and I was trying to determine if the tail was flat or not. I am fairly confident that it was a beaver and not a muskrat. That was a first!
Saw some chickadees and red-winged blackbirds.

Looked for any signs of the lady slipper foliage, but nothing so far. Last year the foliage was showing around May 10th, so hopefully things pop up soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Nesting has begun!

Arrived 7:30 a.m., 45 degrees

Today, the sun shone and it sure was a welcome sight after all that rain   (that we desperately needed)!

The daffodils are out in full force! A little droopy from the heavy snow that fell on them Friday, but still, they are such a cheerful sign of spring.

A Carolina wren called from the distance as I headed to the lower gardens. Heard some titmice in the background. A bright red cardinal sat atop a tree bursting with color in the sun alongside a male goldfinch in his bright yellow summer suit. The tree swallows are back in good numbers along with robins and blue jays. A Blue heron flew overhead.

Calling in the upper gardens were several white-throated sparrows, although I never ended up seeing one! A red-bellied woodpecker called from the woods and a robin was busy building its nest and trying it out. A pair of chickadees were very engaged in the catkins on a willow tree. A few juncos are still around.

The soccer field had its usual robins in the field and no duck sightings in the vernal pool or the river, although a beautiful red-winged blackbird was making sure everyone knew where its territory was. The river added a nuthatch and another robin building a nest on a branch overhanging the Charles. Hope the babies don't fall out when they hatch and get bigger! Saw an Eastern Phoebe couple near the path that takes one through the JCC to the Winchester St. parking lot.

Ran into Ian who mentioned that Haynes has heard pine warblers near the JCC and Ian saw a palm warbler today along Florrie's path.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Who will turn up?

7:30 a.m. 50 degrees and cloudy.

It turned out to feel a little cooler than I imagined, but still, it was so nice to be at the park.

The leaves aren't out yet, so still easy to spot any birds hanging out in the trees.  The lower gardens had robins, a few tree swallows, white-throated sparrows, chickadees and blue jays. There was a lovely hermit thrush flitting about along one of the paths.

The soccer field had several robins and a flicker poking around. Down by the vernal pool was an Eastern phoebe, red-winged blackbirds, cardinals and white-throated sparrows. The bloodroot colony there is alive and well with buds that will open when the sun comes out. A Carolina wren sang from the trees nearby.

The river hosted many of the same but also included song sparrows, another hermit thrush, juncos, a hairy woodpecker male, downies, cardinals and mourning doves. A red-bellied woodpecker purred from across the river.

I have to say, in all the years I have been going to the park, I have never seen so many trees and branches down. I'm sure these more frequent "wind events" that we never used to have, are a big contributor. The water level of the river is way down and the areas that normally fill up with water in the spring are dry as a bone. We have not had the kind of snow and rain that is normal for this area.

However, it is a very special place, and especially during this year of COVID, it is a great respite from all of the world's problems. Nature just keeps on going and is a pleasure to take part in.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Early March

Just a few birds from recent visits to the Park.... a beautiful pair of Hooded Megansers on the river ...

... a Song Sparrow sounding like spring ...

... and a new bird for the Park for me, Ring-necked Duck: four of them that I caught just as they rounded the corner under the bridge....