Thursday, July 23, 2015


Nahanton Park was very pretty this morning! It was hard to drag myself away....

This Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was working a cherry tree near the lower gardens.

There were at least four Ruby-throated Hummingbirds around the back of the upper garden, including this cooperative male.
The Nahanton pond is on of the best places in eastern Massachusetts for Solitary Sandpipers. Here's one of four that were there this morning. A couple of them made repeated graceful loops around the pond, alighting briefly and taking flight again.
This Silver-spotted Skipper was dining on a Queen Anne's Lace in the upper field.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Owls and Eclipses

I walked through Nahanton Park early this morning, for the first time since the end of May. Quite a bit of activity! I think a number of species stage here in post-breeding dispersal. There were a lot of Common Yellowthroats, Yellow-shafted Flickers, and Black-capped Chicadees. On the river there was a row of eleven Wood Ducks, in eclipse plumage.

And a hundred yards into the forest from the parking lot off Winchester St, a ruckus of Blue Jays led me to this Great Horned Owl.

Here's a complete list. (Sorry for the Latin, as usual.)

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  11     lined up on the far side of the river. Eclipse plumage.
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  1
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  5
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)  1     
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  5
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  16     
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)  1
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)  1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  2
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  4     incl juv
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  2
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)  10
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  5     breeding under the bridge
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  14
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)  2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  6     incl juv
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)  4
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  35
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  16
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  1
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  5
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  6
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  12
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  5
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  1
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  1
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  4
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  8

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
It was 65 degrees at 7:14 a.m. and partly cloudy.

Blooming in the meadow were yellow coreposis, white oxeye daisies, penstemon, fleabane, red clover and yarrow.

As I entered the lower gardens via the path from the parking lot, I got dive-bombed by a tree swallow who felt like I was a little too close to her nest box! There were lots of robins, a couple of male downy woodpeckers, yellow warbler, catbirds, red-winged blackbirds, orioles, cardinals, flickers and song sparrows. A seagull flew overhead.

On the way to the upper gardens, the white mulberry tree was fruiting. There were many of the same birds as the lower, but also included a family of house wrens, an Eastern phoebe and this beautiful fellow that I finally saw after listening to his song for quite a while. There he was in all his glorious splendor!

The soccer field/river area had a warbling vireo (found the nest), yellow warblers, a pee wee calling from the woods and cowbirds.