Monday, April 18, 2011

Patriot's Day Weekend Update

Friday around 7:00 p.m. I went to the park. It was a nice evening and not a time of day I usually go, but it was still light out. Upon entering the path to the lower gardens I saw a small sparrow quite near me. I thought it was a chipping sparrow but when I saw it through the binoculars it had a distinctive orange beak which means it had to be a field sparrow! Also saw a savannah sparrow not too far away.

Early Saturday morning I saw mostly our regulars, but I did catch the phoebe hanging out in last years nest already! What creatures of habit. From there I went on a great walk with Alison and Ted starting at the Watch factory in Waltham where some of our highlights were a kingfisher, pine warbler and yellow rumps.

Today it was actually pretty cold at 45 degrees. Saw the savannah sparrow again and our regulars in the lower gardens. The tree swallows are practically swarming around the upper gardens as well as some titmice, goldfinches, robins, etc. Heard the red-bellied woodpecker somewhere near the soccer field. Also thinking there might have been a wood duck in the pond. Something flew up from the water before I even got there but the mallards stayed. Those wood ducks sense you before you even realize you're near.

Down by the river I saw a male downie, a red-winged blackbird, chickadees, titmice and a mysterious little olivey-yellow plump, but warbleresque bird. We surprised each other and therefore I didn't really have a chance to examine it. Saw my friend swimming in the middle of the river and got another picture. It finally came towards the edge of the river and now I am almost certain that it is a muskrat. It moved along at quite a clip - I could hardly keep ahead of it and then it disappeared under the water at the exact same spot it disappeared last time.

On my way back I ran into Haynes who had also seen a couple of savannah sparrows. We saw a small hawk overhead and he identified it as a Coopers hawk which was pretty nice. I'm wondering when the warblers will appear at Nahanton. I'm thinking it should be any day now.

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