Sunday, June 11, 2017

Turtles, Turtles...

Painted Turtle
It was going to be a hot day today, so tried to get to the park at a decent hour. 7:45 a.m and it was already 71 degrees and sunny.

The gardens have been fairly quiet. I'm happy to see that we have several milkweed plants coming up and hopefully that will help the monarch butterflies.

I heard a few yellow warblers, and saw robins, song sparrows, orioles, blue jays, catbirds and house wrens - nothing terribly unusual. The multi-flora invasive roses are in bloom. They actually have a wonderful fragrance and the bees were loving it.

There was a warbling vireo down near the soccer field and a female mallard in the pond. A mourning dove flew by.

Turtles on a log in the river
My big excitement was finding the moonwort that Don L. showed us on a walk a few years ago for the June Doin' event. I've been looking for it the last few weeks and it finally appeared. It's not up for long!

Red-winged blackbird
Down by the river were two turtles on a log and then surprisingly in Woodcock meadow was the painted turtle pictured above, left just sitting in the dry grass. I was a little worried about it's location and if it was alright, but I'm hoping it knows what it's doing and I left it alone.

A young red-winged blackbird sang from a tree in the meadow. The meadow is looking really good with all the work that's been done, but there is lots more to do. We appreciate all that Katherine Howard and the Newton Conservators and Friends of Nahanton Park volunteers have done!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Settling in...

Donna's poppies
7:00 a.m. - 40 degrees, clear and sunny.

I arrived at the park and a few minutes later Ian came, so we walked around together.

It was pretty quiet considering it was such a beautiful day. The yellow warblers must be in nesting mode. Yes, there was some singing, but not nearly as much. The robin babies have fledged and there were several robin families out and about. It seems that some tree swallows have left their nest boxes and others are still caring for their young.

There was a pair of house wrens either working on their accommodations or already sitting on eggs.
A few catbirds were singing. We saw song sparrows, house finches and cardinals. The orioles that built a nest in the tree in the lower gardens were attending to their young which involved one or two just out of the nest all puffed up and fluffy on a nearby branch and some clearly still in the nest.

The upper gardens were quiet as well. A chipping sparrow and some titmice were in evidence along with the same sightings as in the lower gardens.

Down by the soccer field we heard and finally saw a Warbling vireo, a common yellowthroat, the wood peewee, a red-bellied woodpecker and more orioles. A pair of mallards appear to have nested on the side of the pond but we didn't see any babies. Red-winged blackbirds made there presence known.

Little Wood Satyr
Also, saw this beautiful butterfly in the soccer field. I'm not sure I've seen this one before. It's called "Little Wood Satyr" or "Megisto cymela".

We saw several barn swallows while standing on the canoe dock. I looked for the moonwort ferns that Don L. had discovered but they don't seem to be out yet. No heron sightings either. Woodcock meadow was pretty quiet except for a house wren singing it's heart out and a common yellowthroat.

The JCC woods were quiet too. I was contacted by Paul about one of the lady slippers blooming, but between Ian and myself, we couldn't find one that was in bloom. We did see the lady slipper foliage and for some reason, they look like the winter conditions did not agree with them. They don't look very happy.