Saturday, May 21, 2011

Canoe & Birding Trip with Pete Gilmore

We met at 8:00 a.m. at the Charles River entrance of Nahanton Park for our canoe departure. There were five of us; Pete, Larry, Jane, myself and Don.

It was overcast but thankfully, NOT raining for a change. We took two canoes and went all the way to Millenium Park including a few side avenue explorations.

The main highlight was an incredible, at least five minute, very close look at a yellow billed cuckoo. We even got to hear one of its cuckoo vocalizations. Its coloring was just gorgeous from its yellow bill, to its rufous colored side feather to its black and white undertail feathers.

Yellow warblers and common yellow throats were heard everywhere and eventually we got to see a few warblers and a great view of the yellow throat male with his black mask.

We also saw an egret overhead, a blue heron, a mute swan, spotted sandpipers, zillions of red winged blackbirds and grackles, heard swamp sparrows and willow flycatchers, eastern kingbird, cardinals, female hybrid black duck x mallard, cormorants, red breasted grosbeak, wood ducks, song sparrows, red tailed hawk, barn swallows and tree swallows. And a deer near the banks of the river.

This was a really fun trip. You may not realize just how beautiful the Charles is until you're canoeing in it. It is so idyllic you would have no idea that you're surrounded by suburbs and city. I highly recommend this trip when it is offered again. Thanks Pete!

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