Friday, November 27, 2015

Winter Respite

Cedar Waxwing
I arrived at the park around 7:30 a.m. Who could resist a day that promised to be in the 60's when it's almost the end of November? And so happy to have the day after Thanksgiving off from work. It was 50 degrees and a little overcast, but you could tell the sun was going to come out!

In the lower gardens was an enormous flock of Cedar waxwings. They'd hang out in a couple of trees together chattering amongst themselves and then wooosh - all of a sudden they'd fly to a different area en masse. The yellow edge of their tail feathers so dramatically yellow in the overcast light. A seagull flew overhead.

Goldfinches feeding
There were several blue jays, zillions of robins, a lone mockingbird and some titmice. The number of juncos has increased dramatically. A cardinal couple perched on a branch nearby and a few white-throated sparrows were singing. Large families of goldfinches were feasting on the artemesia weed seeds that abound in the meadow. I caught a glimpse of a red-bellied woodpecker on the trunk of a tree near the golf course and finally saw some American tree sparrows with their rufous head and dark breast spot. There were families of house finches too. Several of the birds were having fun bathing and drinking from the puddles along the path.

Red-tail Hawk
In the upper gardens, a flock of Canada geese flew over head and several juncos were busy looking for food along the ground. A few American tree sparrows were here as well and also more house finches. I turned my back to check out the path near the bee-hives and see if by some miracle and owl might appear and when I turned back around, I saw a large hawk fly in. It perched for a while and surveyed the situation. I'm not sure if it was looking for small birds or rodents, but either way, it didn't seem to find what it wanted and moved on.

Do be careful of ticks! This is the second week in a row that I've ended up with one on me. They seem to be rampant right now.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Very quiet at Nahanton...

Impromptu Gathering
I arrived at the park at about 7:30 this morning. It was about 44 degrees. Just as I pulled up, Haynes arrived and we started around together. Ian, Mary Lou and Judy ended up joining us in the upper gardens.

As in the title, it was pretty quiet today. It  was such a lovely morning, that I actually thought it might be a little busier and the others must have thought so too since so many turned out today by coincidence.

In the lower gardens, we saw several titmice, robins, goldfinches, blue jays, chickadees, song sparrows and house finches. Flocks of grackles and then crows flew overhead. Some juncos are back, but not in the large flocks we will see later on.

In the upper gardens, were a pair of white-throated sparrows, song sparrows, more juncos, and two
very vocal and active red-bellied woodpeckers.

The soccer field, pond and river were extremely quiet and devoid of birds, although I suppose it didn't help that two fishermen on the dock were playing their radio extremely loudly.

We walked through the meadow, and though the picture of a birch tree to right doesn't do it justice, the yellow-orange leaves were quivering and dancing in the wind and looked so striking against the crisp, blue sky.