Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend Update

Crab Apple Blossoms
The crabapples are blooming everywhere and they are so pretty. I love their fragrance. The temps have been in the mid 50's with Saturday turning to sun, but today, rather cloudy with some sprinkles around 9:30 a.m.

I had the pleasure of running into Mary Lou on Saturday, and Haynes and Ian on Sunday.

Saturday, the lower gardens were filled with tree swallows circling and guarding their new homes. There were goldfinches, a flock of chipping sparrows, mourning doves, a few yellow-rumped warblers, song sparrows, house finches and some beautiful savannah sparrows. The new addition was a bubbling house wren making its presence known everywhere it went! The upper gardens had robins, chickadees, cardinals and more house wrens. We saw a blue heron flying overhead and a heard a white-throated sparrow singing in the woods. I think I caught a glimpse of a merlin that suddenly appeared and swooped after some tree swallows and then just as quickly disappeared.

The soccer field and pond had some titmice and the two male mallards were feeding. Down by the river, we heard our first warbling vireo of the season, and saw Mrs. Phoebe patiently sitting on her nest. We heard the red bellied woodpecker. In searching for the warbling vireo, all we kept seeing was a flicker. In woodcock meadow, we caught a glimpse of some bright yellow, and then saw two beautiful palm warblers in an evergreen bush. They were quite striking and definitely don't like to sit still for long. One junco was seen. The majority of them seem to have moved on.

Red-backed Salamander
Today, we were greeted by a yellow warbler song - sweet, sweet, very sweet! The first one back!! How nice to hear its song. Had a good sighting of him in the scrubby tree in the middle of the lower gardens along with several yellow rumps and some savannah sparrows. In the upper gardens we saw a tree full of about a dozen cedar waxwings that Haynes had spotted and later we got a great view of them in a crabapple in the lower gardens. The birds seem to love the flowers. Across the river, we heard the warbling vireo again and finally, it flew to our side of the river into a tree right near us. We had a great view of it as it opened its beak and warbled! Our own, personal concert. Haynes also saw a green heron flying down the Charles River bird highway. We caught a quick glimpse of a Coopers hawk flying across the driveway into some woods. Saw our usual song sparrows, chickadees, titmice, grackles, red-winged blackbirds etc. and heard a red bellied purring from the other bank.

On our way back, we cut through the soccer field and through a small portion of the woods. When we were almost at the parking lot we decided to turn over a log, as Haynes had recently been on the vernal pool walk. It got us thinking about salamanders. I saw something dark and shiny and was sure it was only a worm, but when Haynes put it in his hand, we could all see it was a tiny, little salamander!

No sign of our bluebirds this weekend...


  1. Hey Suzette, great finds. I just had my first yellow warblers and warbling vireos of the year down stream at Millenium Park today! I am missing Nahanton and will have to make it back before too long.

    1. Isn't that funny that they're back around the same time but in different locations. The whole thing is so miraculous to me. I'm glad you're checking all these other places out. It's great to hear what else is going on!