Sunday, January 29, 2017

What's new at the park?

New Bat Boxes
At about 8:30 a.m., it was clear, sunny, 33 degrees and very quiet. The meadow has been mowed.

Last fall, Chris, a scout and student at Newton South, was interested in installing 3 bat houses at the park for his Eagle Scout project. There was much discussion, but we all liked the project and the Friends of Nahanton Park approved a donation to help offset some of the material expenses. FNP and the City both approved the project.

Due to some family situations, I haven't been able to get to the park in quite some time, so I was excited to get over there today. There is one box in the lower gardens facing the golf course, one in the upper gardens overlooking the meadow and one in Woodcock meadow.

Song sparrow
It will be most interesting to see if the bats find the boxes. We hope they will.

In the meantime, as I mentioned earlier, it was very quiet today. The lower gardens there were a few
blue jays and possibly a robin. Canada geese were rather vocal flying overhead as well as hanging out at the golf course. Seagulls were seen, bright white against a beautiful blue sky. Four mallards flew by. I couldn't see one bird in the upper gardens, so I ventured down the path into the woods near the swamp, where I finally saw some chickadees and a lone song sparrow.

Mourning Dove
The soccer field and pond were devoid of any bird life that I could see or hear, however there were a few squirrels here and there. I was hoping for a golden-crowned kinglet or an American Tree sparrow, but there was nothing. Down by the river were large flocks of robins and mourning doves and in Woodcock meadow there were a couple of blue jays.

One fun thing about this time of year are the nests. With no leaves on the trees, they become very obvious and every year I say the same thing. I can't believe I walked by these nests so many times and never knew they were there. Some of them are at eye level and right at the edge of a bush. It's amazing how the birds keep their nests a secret - hiding in plain sight!