Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day After Christmas

White Throated Sparrow
It was 28 degrees this morning at about 7:15 when I went to the park.

I decided to go for a walk before the "threatened" snowstorm arrives, but it was already coming down lightly and gently - a beautiful morning for a walk.

I walked all around the park and found it extremely quiet and wondered where everyone was hiding. I'm sure they know a storm is coming!

From the upper gardens I went on the path that goes through the woods to the river. Nothing. When I arrived at the dock at the Nahanton Street entrance, I finally heard some little noises. First I saw some chickadees, then some titmice, then some juncos, and then a nuthatch. It was cute how they were all hanging out together - the brave crowd ready to tough out the snow. As I stood and watched, I finally realized that some kind person had thrown some sort of food for them on the ground and that was why they were all congregating there.

Before I knew it, several blue jays had appeared, some mourning doves, a pair of downies, a red-bellied woodpecker and the white throated sparrow pictured above.

Still no sign of the barred owl...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oh, Nahanton Christmas Tree...

O Christmas Tree!
O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
O Christmas Tree!
O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
Not only green when summer's here,
But also when 'tis cold and drear.
O Christmas Tree!
O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging!

O Christmas Tree!
O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
O Christmas Tree!
O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree!
O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Bird Count Today

Today was the bird count and though it was a little chilly, the weather cooperated - no snowstorms, wind or rain which made for much easier hiking than last year.

After some delicious coffee cake and hot drinks, we broke up into about five groups. Haynes was the leader for the Kennard Park, Brown and Oak Hill areas. He has the final list and tallies, so I will do my best to recall some of the birds we saw today, though nothing unusual was spotted.

Between the two areas, we saw many juncos, robins, starlings, some crows, seagulls, geese and ducks. There were carolina wrens, chickadees, titmice, song sparrows, a red-bellied woodpecker, nuthatches, a red-tailed hawk, downies, cardinals and blue jays.

As we were leaving, Haynes spotted some unusual shaped, freshly made holes in a healthy pine tree near the entrance to the Kennard, that he felt could be serious evidence of a pileated woodpecker. That would be quite exciting! May go back to investigate.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Bird Count Tomorrow!

Please join us for The Annual Christmas Bird Count - tomorrow morning, Sunday, December 19th.

Meet at Cris Crisatello's house at 2 Raeburn Terrace, Newton Highlands at 7:00 a.m. Several groups will be formed to cover the Newton area. Those who'd like to search for owls should plan to come at 5:00 a.m. Coffee, cocoa and coffee cake will be available.

The count should be finished by 2:00 p.m. at the latest. Most groups finish well before that time.   

If you have any questions, call Cris at 617.244.6397 or Alison Leary at 617.821.5619.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Red Tail Again!

Red-Tailed Hawk
38 degrees at 7:15. Very quiet at the park. A few joggers etc. Birds were very quiet in the upper gardens. I think this is the same hawk I saw a few weeks ago and it may be a young one. It flew from the back of the upper gardens to the mulberry tree in the middle and hung out there for quite some time.

I decided I was going to try out the video feature on my camera but spent so much time trying to figure out how to turn it on that when I aimed my camera up to try it out, the hawk was gone! And I never heard a thing.

The lower garden area was a little more active with chickadees, juncos, robins, blue jays, goldfinches, song sparrows and American tree sparrows.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nahanton's Little Christmas Tree

7:15 a.m. , 31 degrees and overcast. It felt really cold.

I had to admire this little Christmas tree growing wild in the lower gardens. It's so perfect, that I think it would be really fun to decorate it and put tiny little wrapped presents underneath for all the birds and creatures who have to tough it out over the winter.

Today was very quiet. Only our regulars were apparent. There were juncos, blue jays, chickadees, a downy woodpecker, cardinals, robins, song sparrows, nuthatches, titmice, tree sparrows, mourning doves and a white throated sparrow foraging in the leaves by the side of the path.

The pond is completely frozen over, so no ducks there now. I notice that the dock is still in the river. I thought they usually hauled it out by now.

SAVE THE DATE: The Christmas Bird Count will be held on December 19th. More details to follow.