Sunday, September 14, 2014

A few more warblers...

Western Palm Warbler
It was a beautiful day. Clear and sunny. 51 degrees at 7:30 a.m. As I got out of the car, I was greeted by Haynes and so we walked around together.

There was a lot of activity in the lower gardens, especially in the area near the large crab apple, shrubs and trees near the swamp side of the gardens. We immediately saw a black poll and a black-throated green, a house wren, chickadees, titmice, a downy, several red-eyed vireos and best of all a Philadelphia vireo with a stunning soft-yellow breast hanging out with the others. Maybe it's the same one that Ian saw a few weeks ago. There were goldfinches, cardinals, catbirds, chipping sparrows, a hummingbird and possibly a common yellowthroat. Naturally, there were song sparrows, blue jays and sadly a house sparrow.

As we headed to the upper gardens, we saw a bird with some bright yellow near its tail and a bit of an eyestripe. Haynes quickly identified it as a Western palm warbler, which I don't think I've ever seen before. I thought it was quite different from its Eastern cousin.

In the upper gardens we saw many of the same birds previously mentioned including another Western palm, but in addition, we had the pleasure of seeing a couple of Indigo buntings which was a nice treat and an Eastern phoebe.

The soccer field, pond and river were pretty quiet save for some chickadees and titmice. Woodcock meadow was quiet too, but Haynes discovered a raided turtle egg deposit - the meadow seemed like a strange place to lay eggs, but maybe not to a turtle! All the white eggs had been dug out (probably by a raccoon), the shells cracked open and the yolks eaten. It makes you wonder how anything survives with predators about.

American Toad
We walked through the woods near the soccer field, and this American toad was discovered, very well camouflaged in the leaf litter, but when he got near the bright green leaf, he was easier to spot.

Haynes will be leading a Brookline Bird Club walk Saturday, September 20th at 8:00 a.m. Meet at the Winchester St. entrance. For more info, click here.

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