Saturday, November 23, 2013

Towhees love Nahanton!

Eastern Towhee
It was 41 degrees and sunny at 8:00 a.m. It was dead quiet, save for some City workers who were removing a few of the large rocks that now border the parking lot and the meadow and transferring them to another park…

The lower gardens were so still, I didn't even hear or see any of our winter regulars - not even a robin at that point. I finally saw a shape on a shrub and when I looked through my binoculars, I was staring at the male towhee!!! Still here! Now, it really is getting late. He was a beautiful specimen and I scrambled into the brush near the center crabapple tree to get a better look. I think the female was foraging in the leaf litter, but I really didn't see her. He then flew off, and as I emerged from the scrub, there was Haynes! He had seen the towhee fly off across the path.

Ian showed up a few minutes later and then the towhee started calling from where I had first seen him. He posed right out in the open and gave me a chance to capture him for posterity! Isn't he elegant? We could hear goldfinches overhead and some blue jays. Eventually we saw robins, a few song sparrows, house finches, juncos and a Coopers hawk, but it was unusually quiet.

Double-crested Cormorant
The upper gardens were a little more active. We saw several juncos, a white throated sparrow sunning itself while perched in the fork of a tree branch as well as several goldfinches, some song sparrows and several American tree sparrows, many of which were in the oak trees behind the gardens as well as some shrubs near us. A white breasted nuthatch was combing the bark of one of the old oaks. Ian saw a swamp sparrow.

The soccer field was quiet and the pond had a tiny little bit of water in it from the rain this week, but no signs of life. As we headed to the river, Ian spotted a Double- crested cormorant gliding down the river. I was amazed, as in my four years of coming to the park, I have never seen one in this area. Seems pretty late. Doesn't it want to be in Florida?

We walked through Woodcock meadow and the woods behind the JCC but didn't see anything of note.

How long will the towhees be with us?

Haynes' Official List
Canada Goose  2
Double-crested Cormorant  1     swimming on the river
Cooper's Hawk  1
Blue Jay  6
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
American Robin  20
European Starling  2
Eastern Towhee  1     Continuing. Male, calling and visible, SW corner of lower garden. Possibly a second EATO there too. Photo.
American Tree Sparrow  10
Song Sparrow  8
White-throated Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  12
House Finch  4
American Goldfinch  20

Click to view online.

1 comment:

  1. I've been outed! I spend my off time as an Eastern Towhee.