Sunday, September 30, 2018

Photo quiz

I took these three photos at Nahanton Park within the past week. What are these birds?

Thursday, September 27, 2018


After a chill, I was hoping for some new activity at Nahanton Park. I met up with Mary Lou and Ian at 8::00 this morning.

Near the lower garden we found this handsome Scarlet Tanager. There were also two large flights of Common Grackles, maybe 400 birds or more.
There were also a LOT of Blackpoll Warblers -- maybe ten altogether. Lots of Northern Parulas, too.
Ian and I went on after Mary Lou left. At the entrance to Florrie's Path we found a Belted Kingfisher, and this Blackburnian Warbler.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Still warblers

Quick tour through the park on Sunday morning. Quite a few people around! Also, a formation of four Great Blue Herons -- I'd never seen such a line-up! --

-- and this male Common Yellowthroat in the upper garden. There were also several Northern Parulas, Blackpoll Warblers, and Red-eyed Vireos, but they were harder to photograph! Another birder saw and photographed a Cape May Warbler.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fall on the way

Beautiful Sunday morning at the Park .... with some fall migrants coming through. The mulberry tree a along the path between the gardens held several vireos - a couple of Red-eyed Vireos and this somewhat elusive Philadelphia Vireo ...

and this beautiful male American Redstart. 

 The trees behind the upper garden held a Red-breasted Nuthatch -- my first there since the big invasion year 2012--2013.

Both gardens hosted a bunch of migrant Chipping Sparrows ...

and Savannah Sparrows.

The tree screen along the soccer field held some Ribbon Snakes. How many?

Monday, September 3, 2018

Heating up again (but not birdwise)...

Solitary Sandpiper
It was 74 degrees and cloudy at 7:30 a.m. when I arrived. I wanted to go early since it's been predicted to be a 90+ degree day. I quickly ran into Mary Lou who I haven't seen in ages and Jonathan briefly. Mary Lou and I actually started in the upper gardens.

We saw hummingbirds, song sparrows, gold finches, and house sparrows. Caught a glimpse of the ever-present groundhog, who upon the realization that he was not alone, hi-tailed it out of the garden he was in and disappeared quickly down one of the garden paths. They are very stealthy and can move surprisingly quickly.

As we headed through the woods to the soccer field, a small American toad crossed our path and disappeared into the woods with his amazing camouflage.

It was so quiet today that we didn't think we would see much and were finally surprised when the hotspot of the day was the soccer field area where we saw a lone yellow warbler, a juvenile oriole, a downy, a flicker and what I believe to be its young, a grackle and its young, nuthatches, robins, jays, catbirds and a pair of Eastern phoebes.

The water in the pond has receded quite a bit and that meant it was time for the Solitary sandpiper to move in and so it has! Apologies for the poor picture.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Birds and people alike are happy about a break from the heat

Common Yellowthroat
This post combines Friday and Saturday visits this week. Today it was 61 degrees and sunny. Yay! It was cool out. A beautiful morning at the park.

The lower gardens had lots going on - especially on my revisit with Haynes. When I first arrived there were robins, mourning doves and lots of song sparrows. A common yellowthroat pictured to left was seen on Friday. Clearly not the very yellow one that Haynes had seen a week ago. I thought I saw it again yesterday because I saw a bird with quite bit of yellow on it's breast, but on closer inspection it had some brown striations on it's side and an eye ring. After some thought, I believe it was a prairie warbler.

A humming bird was busy darting in and out of some red flowers while blue jays made themselves known. A few cedar waxwings were high up in a tree towards the golf course side. Friday, Carolina wrens were singing in their repeats of three. I know they were nearby, but couldn't locate them. House wrens are still present, including their tail-less offspring! Cardinals were busy foraging, and a catbird was busy plucking berries.

I know people aren't that excited about chipmunks, but really, how cutes is this little guy or gal? And so easy to photograph. That's the best part.

Great Blue Skimmer
A very exciting development in the lower gardens was Haynes discovering a bobolink high up in a treetop on the Winchester St. side. He captured a picture and maybe he will post it later. I haven't seen one there in ages, but he wasn't surprised to see it as fall approaches.

Morning Glory
The upper gardens had two hummingbirds, a flicker and several chickadees. Titmice were busy in the oak trees and the willow tree toward the bee hives was a very active site. I briefly saw a warbler that appeared gray with a possible eye ring. At first I thought it was a bluegrass gnatcatcher, but it didn't have the right tail. Then I thought a kinglet, but it wasn't acting like a kinglet. Haynes and I both saw a blue-winged warbler there, which was really nice. It was very visible which is always a treat. Saw a couple of Eastern phoebes and the tail-less baby house wren.

Donna's Zinnias
Goldfinches were in plentiful supply. I've noticed they love the seeds from the evening primrose and evening primroses have invaded many of the gardens. I now have some that found my gardens at home and it has kept the goldfinches around and visible for much more of the season and that's a good thing. Nuthatches called nasally from the woods at the back of the upper gardens.

The pond still has some water in it, but seems to be pretty quiet save for about four mallards paddling around. The path has become very difficult to get through, so hopefully, we can get it cleared out a little for better access.

The soccer field also had a couple of phoebes. Please join us for three great fall walks in October. Check out our website at: for details.