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.

1 comment:

  1. Yay Matt! Haven't heard from you in such a long time!!!! It's so great to read your posting and know you're still around. I'm figuring your work schedule is different now.