Sunday, October 7, 2012

A great day for birds!

Yellow Rump Indeed!
It was 46 degrees and clear this morning. A great day for birding.

I was only at the park for a few minutes when Mary Lou turned up. Where last week we were seeing a few white throated sparrows, we are now seeing several. A few catbirds are still hanging on. The goldfinch families are still dealing with young and the house finch and cardinal families are as well, although they seem to be a little further along.

We saw a nuthatch and a couple of phoebes, mourning doves, chickadees, song sparrows and a common yellow throat. The big excitement came when we saw a northern parula and then a pine/blackpoll. At this point, Ian had joined us. The sun was warming things up a bit and suddenly there was a frenzy of birds. At first, I saw one yellow rump and then several appeared. When I went to shoot a picture, as I looked through the viewfinder, the yellow rump was gone and there was a Nashville in its place! We saw a kinglet and Ian and Mary Lou saw several palm warblers and a juvenile white crowned sparrow. I love these bird flurries, but then just as quickly as they appeared, they disappear and all is quiet...

Incognito Chipmunk!
The upper gardens appeared quiet at first, but as we worked our way through to the back of the gardens, we saw more phoebes, lots of song sparrows, a savannah sparrow, another pine/blackpoll. Ian spotted something yellow high in an oak tree near the bee hives and as we zoomed in on it, it was a bright, black-throated green! More kinglets flitted in the oak trees, a black and white warbler combed through the bark for insects and then we saw what Mary Lou had seen - the blue headed vireo! We had quite a nice view of it with it's blue head, white spectacles and beautiful yellow body. A red-eyed vireo flew from branch to branch, a titmouse appeared and a red-bellied woodpecker which was nice as I haven't seen or heard one at the park for quite a while. A few juncos were making their clicking noises from a nearby shrub. Ian and I thought we saw at least one, possibly two Lincoln sparrows. The streaking looked right, but if the buffy color on the breast was there, it was very, very pale.

Wooly Bear Caterpillar
An indigo bunting was feeding on some seeds and though the body was a tawny color, the tail definitely showed blue. I saw a wood thrush with it's dark brown spots for a split second on a tree and then it flew off towards the woods. Saw a couple of blue jays and a few robins. A flicker was squawking and flew to a nearby branch.

Don't forget, there's a Brookline Bird Club Bird Walk with Sylvia Martin, October 8th (Columbus Day) at the park. Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Winchester Street entrance.

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