Saturday, when I first arrived in the lower gardens, the birds were quite active which surprised me because it wasn't all that pleasant out. I saw a young male yellowthroat and a couple of female yellowthroats. Then I saw two redstarts, one was a male and one a female. I think I had a brief sighting of a black- throated green and a lone pine warbler. A very small bird flew right by me and landed on a post. When I got my binoculars on it, I thought it might be a least flycatcher, but not being certain, I thought it could also possibly be a peewee. However, after sighting the same bird on Sunday, it's been positively identified as a "least". Our regulars were there as well: catbirds, a house wren, robins, goldfinches, song sparrows, cardinals, a downy, titmice and what I thought might be a red eyed vireo youngster. Ian turned up, but as we walked around we saw a bright lightning bolt came down from the sky and there was a huge clap of thunder, then it started raining in earnest. After reading "A Match to the Heart: One Woman's Story of Being Struck by Lightning" by Gretel Erlich, I decided it was time to high tail it out of there.
|Jonathan, Ian and Haynes|
Today was much cooler - 48 degrees and clear at 6:40 a.m. I've been trying to get to the park early because 7:00 a.m. seems to be prime time as far as the birds are concerned. As I headed down the path to the lower gardens, I was greeted by a very friendly, sociable group of chickadees. One of them stood on a branch just inches from me but wouldn't stay long enough for a photo.
I heard the chip chip of a cardinal, some song sparrows and a surprisingly silent little house wren. Two yellowthroat females were flitting here and there in a little shrub near the golf course making their little scolding sounds. A titmouse perched on a branch in an oak tree and a blue jay called. The goldfinches were really enjoying the flower seeds in the gardens. Saw a couple of white-throated sparrows. At around 7:00, the sun came out and as I rounded the corner near the golf course side that heads back to the main path to the upper gardens there was a flurry of activity. I almost didn't know which way to look. Birds were flying back and forth across the path and from tree to ground to shrub. First I saw 2 female redstarts with their fanned out tails. Then I saw a couple of very colorful birds and suddenly realized they were parulas! Two Nashvilles appeared. They seemed to enjoy the goldenrod that was just a few feet off the ground.
Then Ian appeared, and Haynes and then Jonathan. We enjoyed a nice walk around the lower gardens. A beautiful red eyed vireo was spotted as well as house finches, a pine warbler or black poll. Haynes saw a chestnut-sided warbler with it's fall yellow cap and the flycatcher I had seen yesterday was there again and it was determined to be a least flycatcher.
The upper gardens had a black poll high up in a tree top and we saw an Eastern phoebe. Otherwise, it was unusally quiet up there. Not like the excitement down in the lower gardens.
The solitary sandpiper was down by the pond which is now in its vernal pool state - almost all dried up. No sign of any herons or egrets today.
The Friends of Nahanton Park and the Newton Conservators have some great fall bird walks coming up as well as the Brookline Bird Club bird walks.
Please check out the FNP website for more information: www.nahantonpark.org/upcomingevents