Monday, April 20, 2015

Duck Weather

Today we celebrate Patriots Day in Massachusetts.  I like to take this day off from work because it is usually a great time of year for birds and flowers.  It's a good thing I visited Mt. Auburn Cemetery yesterday, because today's weather was horrible, 40s and rainy.  Good for ducks.  Bad for cameras.   As a result, I didn't see too much nature today!

Wood Duck

oddly colored duck

This one is a weird one.  It was so lightly colored and with a plain buffy neck that I thought it must be something other than a Mallard, but I really have no clue what it could be.  Another mystery!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Great Horned Owl!

I started the day quite early, waking up to a gobbling Wild Turkey who sounded like it was right outside my bedroom window but was actually walking through the woods behind the house.  He was noisy!

Late morning I walked a bit in Sherborn, in the woods leading to and a short time on the power lines.  I saw one Elfin species of butterfly, which I think was an Eastern Pine, but I really didn't get a very good look at it.

I did see my first female Red-Winged Blackbirds in Sherborn.

Red-Winged Blackbird (female)

Leaves are budding out all over the place.  It always makes me think of a fireworks display.  It is such a pretty time!

I spent the afternoon walking around Mt. Auburn Cemetery.  It was in the 50s and sunny, but it was still a little early for flowers and flowering trees.  I saw a lot of great birds, but not a single butterfly.

Do you see it?
There's an American Robin sitting on a nest!

 White-Throated Sparrow

Great Blue Heron

 Hermit Thrush

 House Finch

Wild Turkey
(and the day's gobbling continues)

Hairy Woodpecker

Great Horned Owl

I have looked for a Great Horned Owl every single time I have visited Mt. Auburn Cemetery and never seen one.  Today was my lucky day.  I knew where to look, and what type of tree, but I still couldn't see anything.  Another couple was there at the same time, though, and they spotted it way high in the tree.  They went higher to see if they could get a better look while I circled around to try to get a front view.  I managed to find a break in the branches and was able to get this photo!  I was pretty happy about this one!  I could have left then, because seeing this owl made the whole visit worthwhile.

 Northern Flicker


Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Visit to Garden in the Woods

I started the day by participating in a wildlife survey project in Southboro at Beals Preserve.  Three volunteers searched the leaf litter for salamanders.  We found several.  I had no luck personally, but I did have one sit in my hand, which I thought was quite an accomplishment!

Red-Backed Salamander

Afterwards, I took a walk to see what else might be around the property.  I did see two Mourning Cloaks, but they were not cooperating for photos.

Song Sparrow

In the afternoon, I walked at Garden in the Woods in Framingham.  I used my older camera for macro shots of some beautiful wildflowers, but now I can't get them off my camera!  These are the ones from my other camera.

 Blood Root

 Eastern Painted Turtle

 Wood Frog


 Skunk Cabbage

 Look what's inside!

 Green Frog

 Mourning Cloak

 Black-capped Chickadee 
Doesn't he look like he's doing a vampire impression?  He was just preening his wings.

Blood Root