Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sparrows and kinglets

Nice walk this morning through the park. This winter the place is crawling with American Tree Sparrows. The notables today were a Flicker and a pair of Golden-crowned Kinglets in the woods. I managed a single more or less in focus shot, but the second picture is more representative. Something else was calling there too - maybe a Towhee.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fox Sparrows! And renewed interest in Woodcock meadow restoration.

Fox Sparrow
Got to the park today around 8:00. It was 50 degrees and overcast.

The lower gardens were pretty quiet. I could hear blue jays when I first arrived and saw some sea gulls flying overheads. There were large flocks of goldfinches and house finches busy finding seeds on some of the tall weeds. A mockingbird perched on a branch and surveyed the area. A few song sparrows were hanging out in the old crabapple in the middle of the gardens. A small group of Canada geese honked as they flew by. A couple of American tree sparrows foraged on the path.

White-throated sparrow
The upper gardens were extremely quiet. I don't think I saw or heard one bird up there, so I decided to head down to the pond area where Haynes and I had seen a lot of different little birds looking for goodies in the now waterless vernal pool. Not very much there either. Where were they all?

As I headed down the path to the river, I came upon today's hangout. There were titmice flitting about, cardinals, chickadees, lots of white-throated sparrows and a couple of fox sparrows (shown top left) as well as many juncos, a few grackles and blue jays.

New Eagle Weathervane
There are some important updates to let you know about. One is that the City has repainted the nature center and it looks fantastic! Also, Judy Dore has replaced the aging weathervane atop the center with a new, beautiful eagle weathervane that is elegant and striking. I'm proud to say that The Friends of Nahanton Park donated the funds to reimburse Judy for the purchase.

Of great interest: Jon Regosin, Chief of Conservation Science for the National Heritage and Endangered Species Program of Massachusetts, is spearheading a renewed effort to restore Woodcock Meadow back to it's meadow state. Yesterday, over 10 people gathered together to assess the situation and come up with a new preliminary plan to revisit this issue and re-approach the City. We had members of the Newton Conservators, Friends of Nahanton Park, Charles River Canoe & Kayak and other experts and knowledgeable citizens to take a look at the meadow and prioritize the most immediate needs, which is essentially removing the large and invasive white pines and a few other large trees to control the succession to forest. A plan will be created to deal with the order or priorities, fundraising and overall management in general. We hope you will join us in this important endeavor.