Sunday, October 24, 2010

Look Who Blew In!

Well, of course we are always looking for new migrants who blew in, but today we had a special migrant - Sue A., a previously very active member of the Newton Conservators who moved last year and travelled against the prevailing winds to land in Newton from the South instead of the North!

It was chilly this morning, but not too bad at 8:30 a.m. We walked most of the park and spent a lot of time in the upper gardens. It was nice to catch up personally and also for Sue to see the park. I think it was spring when we last saw her there.

We saw many of our regulars including robins, blue jays, goldfinches, cardinals, song sparrows and lots of juncos.

The upper gardens had many sparrows. We think we saw song sparrows, swamp sparrows, white-throated sparrows and I am almost positive that we saw Haynes' white crowned sparrow. I think I have finally learned how to identify it (at least for now). I'll probably forget by next year.

There was a bit of a commotion in the gardens with some crows that were very upset. We thought we saw something large and white that they were after but couldn't identify it. I was wondering if it might be our owl or a red-tailed hawk, but we really couldn't see it. Later, as we walked along the Charles River path, we ran into a group that had experienced a similar mobbing. They couldn't quite see it either, but a self-declared experienced birdwatcher said that he was pretty sure it was an owl of some kind. I would love it if our barred owl was in the vicinity.

We climbed up the hill to Woodcock meadow where we saw more juncos, a male downy, flickers and my first sighting of yellow rumps or butter butts as Haynes likes to call them. We also saw a couple on the path back up to the parking lot near the meadow. Sue has seen them already on Long Island. It's a little bittersweet to see them as they are among the last migrants to come through. That means winter is around the corner although I will look forward to seeing what wildlife will inhabit our park this season.

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