Sunday, January 29, 2017

What's new at the park?

New Bat Boxes
At about 8:30 a.m., it was clear, sunny, 33 degrees and very quiet. The meadow has been mowed.

Last fall, Chris, a scout and student at Newton South, was interested in installing 3 bat houses at the park for his Eagle Scout project. There was much discussion, but we all liked the project and the Friends of Nahanton Park approved a donation to help offset some of the material expenses. FNP and the City both approved the project.

Due to some family situations, I haven't been able to get to the park in quite some time, so I was excited to get over there today. There is one box in the lower gardens facing the golf course, one in the upper gardens overlooking the meadow and one in Woodcock meadow.

Song sparrow
It will be most interesting to see if the bats find the boxes. We hope they will.

In the meantime, as I mentioned earlier, it was very quiet today. The lower gardens there were a few
blue jays and possibly a robin. Canada geese were rather vocal flying overhead as well as hanging out at the golf course. Seagulls were seen, bright white against a beautiful blue sky. Four mallards flew by. I couldn't see one bird in the upper gardens, so I ventured down the path into the woods near the swamp, where I finally saw some chickadees and a lone song sparrow.

Mourning Dove
The soccer field and pond were devoid of any bird life that I could see or hear, however there were a few squirrels here and there. I was hoping for a golden-crowned kinglet or an American Tree sparrow, but there was nothing. Down by the river were large flocks of robins and mourning doves and in Woodcock meadow there were a couple of blue jays.

One fun thing about this time of year are the nests. With no leaves on the trees, they become very obvious and every year I say the same thing. I can't believe I walked by these nests so many times and never knew they were there. Some of them are at eye level and right at the edge of a bush. It's amazing how the birds keep their nests a secret - hiding in plain sight!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall BBC walk surprises

A party of five toured the Park this morning as a Brookline Bird Club walk. It was pretty quite but there were some nice surprises, especially this Brown Thrasher, my latest fall record by three weeks and my first there in three years.



Later in the morning we came across this Hermit Thrush




Friday, October 14, 2016

Crowns in the gardens

I walked through Nahanton Park on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Some interesting birds both days, including an Orange-crowned Warbler and one or more immature White-crowned Sparrows. This morning, a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets were showing off also. All this activity was in the lower garden.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fall Bird Walk with Haynes Miller

Eastern Phoebe
It was a bit raw and dreary with a steady misting rain, but we still had a great bird walk with Haynes.

Ian, myself and three brave souls arrived at 8:00 and toured the soccer field area, the lower gardens and the upper gardens.

We had some very nice sightings including a blue-headed or solitary vireo and all are listed below:

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  20
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  1
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  3
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  4
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)  1
Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius)  1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  6
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  6
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  3
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  6
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  3
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  4
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  5
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  15
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)  5
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  3
Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  6
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  8

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday morning at the Park with Chris

Chris L and I met up at 7:30 this morning, and were soon joined by Mary Lou. Still no exciting fall sparrows, but some warblers. At the lower garden I watched this encounter between a Black-and-white Warbler and a Magnolia Warbler --

Later, at the upper garden, we found the first Indigo Bunting of the season, and two of these Black-throated Green Warblers --

There were also several Redstarts at various places, and quite a few Catbirds. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Warbler season

Fall migration is officially under way!






The first bird I saw at the Park was this Philadelphia Vireo, in the Ailanthus at the lower garden. There was also an American Redstart, a Prairie Warbler, and this Blue-winged Warbler.

At the upper garden I found this very tattered Viceroy.














There is a plot in the upper garden with netting over the top. Today was the fourth time I've found a bird  trapped in this evil arrangement: a Nashville Warbler doing its best to escape. I resisted ripping off the roof .... just opened the flap over the door and moved to the other side to encourage the bird to leave. I'm sure this did no good for the bird's feathers, but at least it survived.





Warbler season

Fall migration is officially under way!






The first bird I saw at the Park was this Philadelphia Vireo, in the Ailanthus at the lower garden. There was also an American Redstart, a Prairie Warbler, and this Blue-winged Warbler.

At the upper garden I found this very tattered Viceroy.














There is a plot in the upper garden with netting over the top. Today was the fourth time I've found a bird  trapped in this evil arrangement: a Nashville Warbler doing its best to escape. I resisted ripping off the roof .... just opened the flap over the door and moved to the other side to encourage the bird to leave. I'm sure this did no good for the bird's feathers, but at least it survived.