Wednesday, October 7, 2020

A few more birds

Just a few more photos. Here's a Swamp Sparrow tee-ed up in the lower garden, where a pair of Lincoln Sparrows were also hanging out.

This is a Palm Warbler, of the gray western race, a stray here in the east. 

And here's one of the many Savannah Sparrows in the upper garden this morning.

And finally there were at least three Indigo Buntings around as well.


Saturday, October 3, 2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Fall warmup

I spent time at the park on both mornings this weekend. A high point was a nice mixed flock at the warm back of the upper garden on Saturday: Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireo, Red- and White-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Parula, and Blackpoll Warbler, accompanied by Chickadees and Titmouses. 

The upper garden was again the place to be on Sunday: Lincoln's Sparrow!

Late report: Last Saturday there appeared on the soccer field an enormous flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds: 370 by my count! Marylou, David, and Ian were also witnesses. Here's a little segment of the flock. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020


Mostly insects these days. The flowers in Woodcock Meadow attracted quite a variety -- this guy is named Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus ...

... and this one is a Great Golden Digger

This is a tachinid fly, genus Archytas ...

... and this is a honey bee, Apis apis

Can someone identify the flower that was attracting all this activity?
The only bird that allowed a decent photo was this Common Yellowthroat in the downed evergreens --

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Spring cleanup

Just catching up with things ... It was a pretty good spring migration at Nahanton Park this year! The Mass Audubon Birdathon occurred on May 15-16. I stopped by NP both days. In the evening of May 15 I found this Blue-winged Warbler in cherry bloosoms
The next day I found many Ovenbirds, and Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Yellow, Black-throated Blue and Green, and Wilson's. Others reported Canada and Blackpoll there that day as well. 

I stopped by again on May 18. A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew over, and this molting Indigo Bunting appeared next to the lower garden. 
Another birder pointed out a Great Horned Owl, visible from the Boyscout trail. Both Swainson's Thrush and Veery were around (which is this?)
and I found this Blue-headed Vireo. Both it and the Swainson's were particularly numerous this spring.
Three different Wood Thrushes were sounding off in the woods, and this Nashville Warbler put in an appearance.
Quite a few Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are nesting in NP this season. One has a nest right over the new path along the river. 
I returned on May 20. More Swainson's Thrushes
and this motley Baltimore Oriole
A migrating pair of Bobolinks appeared high in the trees
 and this Bay-breasted Warbler sang to Suzette and me - 
A Least Flycatcher was holding forth in Woodcock Field. 
I came again the next morning, and was delighted to find this beautiful male Eastern Bluebird investigating the boxes in the upper garden. Apparently none of then were satisfactory, however; he didn't stick around. 
 The Robins were doing well, though -
Next morning, I found this Ruby-throated Hummingbird enjoying a drip at the lower garden - 
A few days later, the Lady-slippers were in bloom - 
June 2 - Migration is winding down. I noticed this sign near the newly planted apple tree at the lower garden. I don't know what this poster has against the Friends of Nahanton Park - this doesn't seem very friendly to me!
June 10 - Song Sparrows nest on the ground, and they have always nested in amongst the garden plots. Here's a little family in the corner of one of the plots in the lower garden - 
I also observed the classic pair, eyeing each other at the lower garden - 
Summer's here! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Mid-week Migrants

Its been a long time since I was last at Nahanton, but after 2 month of staying home, it was time to see a little of what the park had to offer. At 6:30 am, it was quite chilly and it took a little while for the birds to warm up, but in the end I was able to identify quite a good number of birds. While out I ran into a couple of other birders and hear reports of a Blue-headed Vireo and a Veery. A full list is below:

Mourning Dove  2
Black and White Warbler

Killdeer  1     Calling
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  3
Eastern Phoebe  1
Warbling Vireo  2
Blue Jay  4
American Crow  2
Fish Crow  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  2
Tree Swallow  8
Barn Swallow  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Wren  6
Carolina Wren  2
European Starling  3
Gray Catbird  9
Swainson's Thrush  1
Hermit Thrush  1
Wood Thrush  2     Singing
House Wren
American Robin  12
Cedar Waxwing  1
House Sparrow  1
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  3
Chipping Sparrow  1
White-throated Sparrow  4
Savannah Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  7
Baltimore Oriole  4
Red-winged Blackbird  4
Brown-headed Cowbird  3
Common Grackle (Bronzed)  5
Ovenbird  2
Black-and-white Warbler  3
Nashville Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  3
American Redstart  1
Northern Parula  5
Scarlet Tanager

Yellow Warbler  6
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  3
Prairie Warbler  1
Wilson's Warbler  2
Scarlet Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal  2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mother's Day at Nahanton

Baltimore Oriole
Sadly, due to the corona virus restrictions, the traditional Mother's Day Bird Walk was cancelled. But I had to go to the park anyways. It was chilly, but sunny.

House Wren Singing
7:15 a.m. and 37 degrees. Started in the lower gardens. I was greeted by blue jays, robins, titmice, cardinals, song sparrows and yellow warblers. It was cold and the tree swallows were warming on a sunny tree branch. A female blackbird was foraging in the large crab apple tree.

Oriole Nest
The house wrens are back in full force and trying to claim houses from the tree swallows who got there before them. Lots of oriole couples and 1 year olds where the black coloring had not reached full intensity. However, for at least the third year in a row, they are building a nest in the same tree. I watched as they were close to putting the finishing touches on the nest. They sure work quickly - only arrived last weekend.

As I started to head up to the upper gardens, I heard a buzzy noise and was hoping for a Northern Parula, I did not see it, but did see a Common Yellowthroat male! That was a surprise and made me very happy. I love them. Canada geese flew overhead.

Black & White Warbler
In a similar location last weekend, I saw a black & white warbler, so I'm including it's photo here.

The upper gardens had tree swallows, house wrens, catbirds, downiest, red-winged blackbirds, goldfinches, song sparrows, house wrens, chickadees and a kinglet in the brush at the back.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler
As I headed down to the soccer field through the woods I caught a quick glimpse of a hermit thrush! And a morning dove... And then heard the wonderful song of a wood thrush singing near the pond.

Aside from robins on the soccer field, I only managed to see a red-bellied woodpecker near the pond.

Wood Thrush Singing
Walking along Florrie's path, I came upon a Yellow-rumped Warbler couple. The male was flitting here and there, but I managed to get a quick shot of the female. In the swampy area to the right of Florrie's path was a mallard swimming around since all the rain made a nice little pond for him as a phoebe watched from the surrounding brush.
Wood Thrush

Woodcock meadow had blackbirds, orioles, robins and house wrens. I decided to look in the area where Haynes has seen fox sparrows when I heard an interesting song that I couldn't recognize. I took me the longest time to find the bird, but I finally found it! It was a wood thrush. I wonder if it was a young one because the song didn't sound quite right. But I had a great view of it and then it flew down to a low branch almost right in front of me!

Continued on the path near the JCC where I have now located 3 lady slippers. One has a bud on it. I seems to me that in past years, we have had more so I'm not sure why it is so sparse this year.

Lady Slipper Emerging
It turned out to be a great day at the Park and made my Mother's Day a real treat in light of all the negative things going on at the moment.

Mother Nature is truly amazing. We are so lucky to have Nahanton Park in our city. It truly is a treasure.

Put on your mask and come visit! And if you bring your dog, please keep it on a leash.