Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cedar Waxwings

It's the first cold day here (high of 31), and the birds look hungry.  The holly bush in front of my house has a good crop of red berries on it, and it was attracting American Robins and Black-Capped Chickadees.  Also foraging around the garden or other shrubs were Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Dark-Eyed Juncos, Blue Jays, and a Song Sparrow.

At lunch, I drove over to Speedway Plaza in Westboro to check on the crabapple trees in the Wendy's parking lot.  European Starlings, American Robins, Black-Capped Chickadees and Cedar Waxwings were all enjoying the fruit on the trees.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wood Ducks at Great Meadows NWR

I missed yet another scheduled walk at Great Meadows.    I wrote down 4:00, and it turns out that is when it ended.  Makes sense since the sun goes down shortly after 4.  Don't know what I was thinking!

I did show up a bit early (!), so I was able to get about 35 minutes in before it was dark.

 Wood Duck (male)

Wood Duck (female)

 Nature's lampshade 
(dried lotus blossom)

Good night, goose!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Visit to Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

I have been meaning to visit this Mass Audubon sanctuary for a long time.  Today was finally the day.  It was sunny and in the low 30s, quite chilly in the woods.   This sanctuary boasts 12 miles of trails!  I took a pretty long walk, following the outer trails in a loop around the sanctuary.

The first thing that surprised me was when I slowed down to take some photographs on the first trail, I was immediately surrounded by Black-Capped Chickadees and a White-Breasted Nuthatch.  They appeared to be expecting some bird seed!  Apparently, the birds are quite tame here and are accustomed to feeding right out of visitors' hands!  Later, some even fluttered in front of my face, wondering why I didn't extend my hand to them.

The next item of interest was a beaver lodge built right along the trailside.  I looked hard for the owner, but there was no activity in the water.

American Coot


 Oriental Bittersweet

 Autumn Meadowhawk

 American Robin

 Black-Capped Chickadee

 White-Tailed Deer (one of three)

 American Red Squirrel

 The visitor center

Salisbury was only a half hour drive from here, so I headed up there to look for a Snowy Owl.  My first of the season!  It was perched atop a boardwalk that was under construction and posted "no trespassing", so it had a nice private location.  There were very few photographers there, possibly because it was so late in the afternoon.  I was glad not to be part of a circus of spectators.   My camera was at full zoom to get these photos.  It was quite a distance from the parking lots.  What a beautiful creature!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hooded Merganser at Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary

41 degrees
Mostly sunny

While we did get a dusting of snow last night, it was hardly worth all the polar vortex predictions that preceded it.  It was a beautiful day today, only cooler than earlier in the week.  It felt pretty normal for mid-November!

Hooded Merganser

 Beaver activity

Looking back from the end of the dam

I forgot to mention that I spooked two White-Tailed Deer near the water's edge after a short turn down Sassafrass Trail!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Palm Warbler at Hopkinton State Park

I took a short walk at Hopkinton State Park during my lunch break.  The polar vortex has not hit us yet, and it was partly sunny and in the low 50s.  It was pleasant and peaceful walking along the water's edge.  A late to head south Palm Warbler was the star of this walk!

Autumn Meadowhawk

Palm Warbler


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bluebirds at Chestnut Hill Farm

I took my lunch break at Chestnut Hill Farm in Southboro.  We had another mild day, 60s and sunny.  I saw at least a dozen Clouded Sulphurs and two Orange Sulphurs flying around the meadows!  This is probably the last day, though, because the polar vortex is due to hit us tomorrow.

American Crow
Blue Jay
Carolina Wren
Dark-Eyed Junco
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Mockingbird
Red-Tailed Hawk

 Eastern Bluebird

 Clouded Sulphur

American Crow

Dark-Eyed Junco

Note:  warm weather brings ticks.  Tick bite - left knee.