Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sue Avery Walk

Blue Dasher, ID by H. Miller
Sue Avery, who was very active in our Newton Conservators group, blew into town this week from Long Island where she and her family moved 5 years ago. Luckily, our schedules worked out and we were able to tour Nahanton Park before she left.

It's always fun to walk with her because she has such a vast knowledge of the plant life, in addition to birds and insects. Like Haynes, she is fascinated by dragonflies and damsel flies. We're not sure which kind this is, but hopefully Haynes will give us an i.d.

I was so hoping we might hear the bobwhite that Haynes heard a few days ago, as we walked around the gardens, but sadly, we didn't. On Long Island, there are programs to reintroduce bobwhite and quail to certain wildlife areas. I wish we had something like that going on here. We saw our regulars: goldfinches, robins, song sparrows, mockingbirds, blue jays and cardinals.

Green Heron
When we cut through the woods to the soccer field, we hit a little hot spot and were most excited to see a few blue gray gnatcatchers, an oriole couple, a warbling vireo,some titmice and a glimpse of some kind of warbler that had black, white and bright yellow, but it was so brief that I wouldn't dare identify  it. Sue saw a large clump of feathers in a tree. It looked rather odd, but turned out to be a baby flicker.

The pond was disappointing - no herons and no sandpipers or ducks. The pickerel weed is in bloom, but Sue was distressed to see we have some lythrum starting to take in the pond which is highly invasive. If anyone wants to or dares to tromp through the mud in their waders and pull it up, it would be appreciated!! She said now is the time to catch it before the pond is overwhelmed.

We continued on by the river path and shortly before we turned off to head to the upper gardens, we were delighted to spot one of the green herons preening on a log.

All in all, it was a beautiful, sunny day and every time I visit Nahanton,  I am so grateful that we have this park. It's such a wonderful antidote to life's pressures and a great opportunity to enjoy nature with good friends.

Sue is an ecologically oriented landscape designer.

Check out Sue's website and blog.


  1. That's a male Eastern Pondhawk.
    On Friday I marched out to the pond and dug up the Loosestrife. There's another growing under the Nahanton St bridge on the Needham side that should be eliminated too!

  2. Haynes, thanks for the ID and double, triple, quadruple thanks for walking out in that muck to dig up the loosestrife!!!!!!!!! I was terrified I'd sink in up to my neck!
    And for the alert about the fact it is growing under the bridge.

  3. Suzette, I'd like to correct my id: I think it's a Blue Dasher. The dark tail and shaded inner wings separate it from Eastern Pondhawk. Sorry!