Saturday, January 9, 2016

Welcome the new year

A quick and damp walk through Nahanton Park this morning. All the Juncos and Tree Sparrows were gathered on the ice on the pond. The Fox Sparrow Mary Lou found last week was still there, near the parking lot at the upper field.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Quick Visit

It was 31 degrees this morning at about 7:30. The sky was clear. A little nip in the air, but not too bad for January.

I did a quick walk around the park. It was extremely quiet in the upper and lower gardens. Didn't actually see one bird, except for Canada geese that were flying in groups overhead.

I headed down to the soccer field, where at least the sun which was low, was starting to rise and shine on a few areas. This did seem to bring out some of the birds.
Red-bellied Woodpecker

There were several flickers and a Red-bellied woodpecker as well as a flock of goldfinches that seemed to be finding a lot of food on the ground next to the pavement right near the soccer field entrance. The pond is frozen and saw very little near the river today.

Puzzled-looking Titmouse
I headed back to the soccer field as it seemed to be the only area with much activity. Eventually, I saw a song sparrow, a robin, a blue jay and some titmice. Now that the leaves are off the trees, I found the remnants of the warbling vireo nest spotted during the June Doin' event last summer.

Ran into Bev who had been to Plum Island with the BBC. I mentioned that Haynes was there too and she said she had run into him and other birders. She mentioned everyone saw a snowy owl. Wish I had been able to go!

I'd like to let our readers know that the renewed interest in restoring Woodcock meadow is moving along. Two documents have been drafted by Jon Regosin and are currently under review before submitting to the City. The Newton Conservators and the Friends of Nahanton Park will be starting fundraising efforts in the next month or so. Once the donation link is established, we will be posting it on our website:

P.S. It was so great to hear from fellow blogger Matt (see posting below from New Years Day).

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Day Birding: Welcoming 2016

American Goldfinch
While I haven't been out for the sake of birding for a while, I still thought New Years' Day necessitated my tradition of birding at the park. Owing to the company that joined me today, I started at a leisurely 9:30am. The overcast sky and coating of snow and ice made it seem much earlier though, and I was hoping the birds would agree.

Pulling into the parking lot, a White-breasted Nuthatch became my first seen bird of the new year (a couple of early morning revelers in the form of Blue Jays made my first heard bird of the year).  As we headed down the path towards the lower garden we were greeted by a skittish flock including Song Sparrows, Juncos, Goldfinches, and American Tree Sparrows, which might be one of my favorite reliable New Year's birds. As I was trying to pick through the flock, a tremulous call note reached my ear to announce a Brown Creeper! This little triangle of brush between the lower gardens and the meadow seemed to have most of the activity of the entire day between a pass at the start of the walk and again at the end. Other triangle denizens included Cardinals, Titmice, White-throated Sparrows, and a lone Robin.
American Tree Sparrow

The rest of the lower and upper gardens seemed devoid of life except for the constant stream of gulls overhead, so we decided to take the little path down to the river and look for ducks. We found a pair of boisterous Canadian Geese flying low along the Charles, their wing-tips barely above the water. At the dock there was no sign of other water fowl, though as I turned to look down river 3 small birds flew out of the neighboring Birch tree. While I'm pretty sure they were actually Goldfinches, I couldn't help but think back two years to the Common Redpolls on another New Year's Day.

While this year's walk was a little less eventful, I was still happy to take in the sights and see what the park has to offer for 2016.