Sunday, November 27, 2011

Last Flowers Standing

Weekend Update: Saturday was 47 degrees and Sunday, a cooler 33 degrees.

It's pretty quiet at the park. The most active area seems to be the lower part of the upper gardens near the meadow.

Between Saturday and Sunday, I saw house finches, song sparrows, robins, white throated sparrows, my first American tree sparrows of the season, lots of goldfinches, cardinals, tufted titmice, chickadees and a blue jay. Also, had a nice but brief sighting of a cedar waxwing couple in the Mulberry tree.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some Nice Surprises!

Bluebird Male
Bluebird Female

It was 50 degrees this morning! Not bad for November. Very pleasant and sunny.

The woods at the parking lot looked dramatically different today. They looked like they were all cleared out! It took me a minute or two to realize that all the leaves had fallen off the oak trees and now you could see right through.

The lower gardens were very quiet so  headed to the upper gardens.

A flock of goldfinches flew out of the artemesia in the meadow as I headed up. There were several song sparrows, and some house finches and then I saw something blue. I only caught a glimpse of it, but I was sure it was a bluebird and then it disappeared. I couldn't have been happier, when 5-10 minutes later, it appeared on top of the favorite purple bird house along with two females. I have to think these are our bluebirds. It makes me feel better. Saw a few juncos, but literally only a few. A brilliant red cardinal appeared and a female downy in the woods at the back of the gardens as well as a few robins.

Hermit Thrush
Then Mary Lou appeared! She saw a hermit thrush, which of course I missed. However, as we headed around the path, she spotted the same or another hermit thrush in the leaves on the ground with a beautiful fox sparrow and a couple of white throated sparrows. We followed them into the woods and got to watch them for quite a while. They were like a little gang, going everywhere together.
Hermit Thrush Eating Berry
We walked down to the pond seeing virtually nothing, but when I turned around to head back I saw yet another? hermit thrush having a field day with some bittersweet. Did we see one, two, or three hermit thrushes today? We'll never know...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Transition

Wild Grasses
It was chilly out, but not as cold as it could be, so I was grateful.

Before I even got started, something made me want to check the Bird Register. I was really excited to see that birdwatchers, Scott and Aviva are back from Israel! Scott was the first one I knew about in Newton to start a birding blog and I've missed his sightings and writings! Welcome back you guys! Hope you had a great time and can't wait to hear about the birds you saw.

Many leaves are off the trees. The maples that are left are a beautiful orange and the oaks are their usual dreary brown with the leaves still clinging. Most of the vegetables and flowers are dead making things look a little sad and lonely.

The upper and lower gardens were pretty quiet except for our regulars. I saw lots of juncos, song sparrows, a few white throated sparrows and a few robins. The evening primroses are still proving to be a great attraction for the goldfinches which are now all sporting their winter coats.

As I was about to head home, I noticed that it was quite sunny down near the soccer field. If I was a bird, I guess that's where I'd be, so I headed down there.

Downy Male
It turned out to be a hotbed of activity. It was sort of a mixed flock of upper garden birds i.e., goldfinches, juncos, white throated sparrows and song sparrows with the addition of a red bellied woodpecker, a downy, cardinals and nuthatches. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it was so fun to see them hanging out together.