Sunday, April 26, 2015

Haynes' List

With Suzette. Mostly clear, still, 47 deg

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 2
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 3
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 6
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 1
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) 20
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 2 more; nesting under the bridge
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 3
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 8
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) 4 Singing at different locations. They arrived a week ago
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 1 upper field
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 12
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia) 2
Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus) 1 JCC
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) 3
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 3
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis/carolinensis) 4
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 8
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 6
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 2
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) 5
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 10
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 3 JCC

Sunday, April 19, 2015

First warbler to appear (at least for me)

It was 45 degrees at 7:30 a.m., clear and sunny.

I started in the lower gardens as usual and was immediately greeted by a cardinal couple, tree swallows and a red winged blackbird. Song sparrows were singing, blue jays calling and robins foraging in the field. As I looked more closely, I saw this little guy and was excited to realize it was a field sparrow in a field!!

As I headed to the upper gardens there were titmice and more robins and cardinals. I stopped to watch the little hole in the birch that had so interested the chickadees last weekend and

Palm Warbler
saw them busily flying in and out. Looks like they are hoping to raise their young there. At the same time, I saw a little brown bird perch on a tiny, bare branch. It was a house wren! Then I saw a flash of yellow, and there was a beautiful palm warbler nearby. Very exciting.

The upper gardens yielded more of the same but with a cowbird high in a tree.  Jonathan appeared and told me he had seen a hermit thrush down in the lower gardens.

Saw a white-throated sparrow on the way to the pond which was very quiet, as was the river. In the meadow, we ended up seeing an Eastern phoebe, but no action on the nest yet.

House Wren
In Woodcock meadow, we saw another palm warbler and some gold finches.

So, all in all, our friends are arriving and I am looking forward to the Mother's Day bird walk led by Haynes Miller and Alison Leary. I hope you will join us!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wood Duck Couple!

Chickadee exploring possible nest site
Got to the park at 7:30 a.m. It was 38 degrees, clear and sunny. Ian pulled up right after me so we walked around together.

The lower gardens were inundated with tree swallows as is usually the case this time of year. We heard a beautiful song and as we tried to figure it out, we saw the fox sparrow sitting in the sun on a branch in the crab apple tree to the left of the gardens. They're still around.

The cowbirds were there - three males to a female, high up in the bare tree tops. Ian caught a glimpse of a house finch and a flicker. Our usuals were there as well; song sparrows, cardinals, chickadees and robins.

The upper gardens were filled with robins and tree swallows. There were also song sparrows , titmice, more cowbirds, red-winged blackbirds, juncos, goldfinches and blue jays. A pair of blue herons flew overhead. They're back!

The soccer field was covered with even more robins and several crows. We had a beautiful view of the red-bellied woodpecker on a trunk, his red cap brilliant in the sun. The pond yielded a pair of wood ducks, the male looking very elegant for breeding season. A pair of mallards preened themselves on a log protruding from the shallow depths.

The river was fairly quiet - some blue jays, crows, song sparrows and mourning doves. Sadly there was a dead Canada goose floating in the water near the dock. That was a disturbing sight. Woodcock meadow and the path by the JCC were pretty quiet as well - some cowbirds and a few chickadees.

Things will be heating up pretty soon! Can't wait.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Announcing: Spring!! And Fox Sparrows!

Checking it out...
What a tough winter! It's almost like I've been in a state of suspended animation, just trying to get through it and now, finally starting to come alive again. I haven't been at the park in such a long time... It was such a pleasure to head over there this morning. 32 degrees, clear and sunny.

As I headed into the lower gardens I could hear the toot toot of a blue jay nearby. A mourning dove was cooing. A group of Canada geese flew overhead. Robins foraged in the leaf litter and song sparrows were everywhere - on the ground, in trees, on the fences, flying here and there and of course singing. The tree swallows are back in full force. Every bird box at the park looks like it has been staked out by the tree swallows.

Fox Sparrow
I heard a beautiful song and wasn't sure who was singing it. As I stood in the sun, facing the golf course, I saw a sparrow-like bird in a shrub. As I honed in on it with my binoculars, I realized it was a fox sparrow. Very exciting! I got a little too close and it flew, but later I found it again closer to the path to the upper gardens. This is when I realized there were two of them! Of course there were juncos, cardinals and downy woodpeckers.

As I headed to the upper gardens, I passed chickadees, tufted titmice and more song sparrows. Tree swallows were here as well, guarding their new abodes. I had a nice view of an Eastern Phoebe sunning on a branch. I heard a red-wing blackbird as it flew off. There were several goldfinches in mid-molt and herring gulls flying by.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
I walked to the pond which is mostly still frozen hoping for wood ducks in what looked like a small watery patch, but no luck. The river was quiet save for a lone Canada goose heading upstream.

On my way back, I came across this beautiful Red-bellied woodpecker climbing up and down this tree trunk. It was very vocal and it's head was so brilliant in the sun.

I ran into Haynes as I was leaving and additionally, we saw a cowbird. Hopefully Haynes will add on to this if he saw birds not already reported.