Sunday, February 28, 2010

End of February - We're getting closer!

7:00 a.m., overcast and about 30 degrees. My car windows were covered in a thin sheet of ice and had to scrape it off before going to the park. Everything looked very frosty.

I heard a lot of birds, but didn't actually see that many. The song sparrows and cardinals were very intent on singing and down by the river the geese and ducks are forming their couples. They seemed to enjoy the fact that the river was quite high as it gave them all kinds of extra little nooks and crannies to explore and swim around in. Lots of low lying areas were flooded - so much so, that I couldn't get to the backside of the gardens from the river path because it was flooded so badly.

The red-bellied woodpeckers are quite active around the river as well as a group of mourning doves. Thought I heard the call of an early arriving red-wing blackbird. Further down the path were many woodpeckers - which I couldn't quite see as well as nuthatches roaming up and down the tree trunks. As I mentioned in my last entry, the chipmunks have emerged. The chipper in this picture was quite pleased with himself as he had a large acorn in his mouth and wouldn't let it go for anything in the world - not even a strange woman trying to take his picture.

Three weeks until spring!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bald Eagle!

It was 32 degrees this morning at 8:00 a.m. and slightly overcast. I started in the lower gardens which was inundated with juncos. They were very busy talking and interacting and I felt like they were at their Sunday social! Our regular friends were about - mostly a few song sparrows, titmice, cardinals, mockingbirds and chickadees.
The geese are very active right now and I took this shot of a group flying overhead.

The upper gardens were rather quiet, so I headed down to the river where I came upon this pair of geese. I know it's getting to be time to pair off and these two definitely looked like a "couple". Saw a male hooded merganser cruising down the river with four females looking very grand. Every so often one or more would disappear from sight as they dove under the water looking for food. Heard the purring and calls of the red-bellies but didn't catch a glimpse of them. They were across the river.

I decided to walk through the woods along the river when I heard some action in the leaves as well as tiny little squeaking noises. I was looking for a bird, when I realized there was a family of chipmunks - at least four or five and they were scurrying all through the leaves and on logs to perch for a moment and do a quick grooming and check out the scene. I was trying to get a picture which proved impossible, but I saw something out of the corner of my eye and looked up and there it was!!!!! The bald eagle flying overhead!!! I probably wouldn't have ever noticed had I not read in the bird register that someone with the initials D.T. had seen a bald eagle last week. I am so excited to see one at our Nahanton Park! Wonder if it's visiting or if it might find our park suitable for nesting????

Check out the Newton Birding blog (link to right under followers section) to see Scott's pictures of Eurasian Teals!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Crisp February Day

Who can resist this hooded merganser? There were actually three, but I scared off two with my movement. I love his crisp black and white markings.

The park was pretty active today, but mostly with our regulars. The lower gardens were filled with juncos, titmice, cardinals, mockingbirds and blue jays. I walked through the woods, still hoping to catch a glimpse of the owl again, but no luck.

Along the river were several nuthatches scrabbling up and down the tree trunks and some on the ground looking for something good to eat. I heard a red-bellied woodpecker overhead and heard it calling to another. Then I saw them and they flew off together.

An American tree sparrow couple were on a rock nibbling on some little seeds. Ran into a bird photographer named Ilya that saw some brown creepers along the side of the driveway entrance.

I saw Ian's car, but no Ian and ran into Haynes as I was leaving. Looking forward to a possible posting of his list!