Saturday, March 10, 2018

Storm damage

As Suzette said, these Nor'easters have done quite a bit of damage to the park. The screen between the soccer field and the path continues its decline.

Not too many birds around this morning; the best find was a Fox Sparrow, as usual at the end of the upper ("Woodcock") field. It gave a better photo op this time.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

After the Storm...

Singing Song Sparrow
8:30 a.m. 40 degrees and cloudy.

I went to the park to check out the effects of the crazy Nor'Easter we had on Friday. There were several big trees down, but mostly in the soccer field/pond area. Between the rain loosening roots and the wind, this particular storm seemed to bring down a lot of very large trees.

Tufted Titmouse
I started in the lower gardens where the song sparrow pictured at left was singing away. There were a couple of blue jays, a cardinal singing choo, choo, choo, some chickadees, tufted titmice and robins. A couple of seagulls flew overhead as well as some noisy grackles.

The upper gardens had much the same with addition of some white-throated sparrows, Canada geese flying over head and a beautiful red-tailed hawk circling high in the sky.

Bee Hive Protection
D. Reilly's beehives are obviously very well protected this year. I've never seen them so well-packed with insulation and wraps etc. That should help them survive until warmer weather. I was hoping to see the Eastern Towhee that Haynes has been seeing, but no such luck today so I headed down to the river.

The pond area was very quiet. This is where several large trees had crashed to the ground, some of them blocking the path. However the soccer field was covered with robins. In deference to Haynes, I tried to count them and got to at least 55+ robins. Wow! I was also surprised to see several cedar waxwings flitting about in the brush (see picture at right below)!

The river seemed the most active location by far. Grackles were flying back and forth across the river (which is quite high as you can imagine). Several chickadees were calling as well as titmice. I saw my first chipmunk of the season scurrying through some brush. An American Tree sparrow landed on a branch right in front of me and a silly robin was singing. It barely opened it's beak, so at first I thought I was imagining things, but if I looked really closely, I could see it's chest heaving up and down. Even saw a few juncos flashing the white on their tails. They were busy foraging on the ground near the nature center with a group of song sparrows. A couple of goldfinches made themselves known when they landed nearby.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Cedar Waxwings
There were two red-bellied woodpeckers that I could hear. One was on the park side of the river (pictured at left) and the other across the river. He was very busy drilling into this dead old trunk.

I think it would be worth a trip at sunset to see if the woodcocks have started their displays. Maybe I'll give it a try tonight or this week.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sparrow Smorgasbord

Quick pass through the park on this beautiful morning brought a whole bunch of sparrows ... Song Sparrow and Junco, of course, but also single White-throated Sparrow (upper garden), American Tree Sparrow (ice on pond), Fox Sparrow (end of upper field), and Eastern Towhee (upper garden).