Monday, May 2, 2011

The Sounds of Spring: Part 1. Red-Bellied Woodpecker

This is part 1 of a series of 3 recapping some of the bird songs from Nahanton.

After reading about the Saturday morning bird walk I was inspired to make my way over to Nahanton around 6pm. In the gardens the catbirds must have recently moved in as their songs added tremendously to the din and commotion of bird life. Yellow warblers were plentiful and one of them seemed to be following me around. I even caught a brief glimpse of what I thought was a field sparrow. I can't wait to hear them sing. With a bunch of soccer players on the field I headed down the path to the river and could hear the Baltimore oriole's liquid whistles floating over the swamp. Just as I reached the Charles I could hear the "churrr, churrr" of the red-bellied woodpecker. (I can't yet just embed audio files, but I turned the audio into a movie with a still image I took a few moments later. The Baltimore orioles whistles can be heard faintly in the background at seconds 4-6.)

I looked up and saw a woodpecker poking his head out of a hole in a dead tree. As I watched he kept "churrr-ing" away until a second red-bellied woodpecker flew in and then both ducked back into the hole before she flew off leaving the male behind continuing his calling. Could that be a nest!? Across the river two flickers were chasing each other around and calling and then further down the path a black-and-white warbler was searching tree branches for bugs and a male and female wood duck landed just 20 feet from me in the flooded area next to the path.

After the soccer players moved on, the soccer field yielded song, field, and savannah sparrows. Up in woodcock meadow, there was a number of palm warblers flitting about, but then wait. One had a gray head and white eye ring! And indeed my last find of the day as the sun slipped behind clouds at the horizon was a Nashville warbler!

1 comment: