Saturday, December 1, 2012

Birding at North River Wildlife Sanctuary

I left the house at 7:30AM in light snow and 27 degrees.  I arrived at North River Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield about an hour later.  I walked the River Loop out to the observation platform overlooking the North River.  This trail borders a nice-sized meadow which I bet is filled with butterflies in the summer months.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

As you can see, it was a very dark winter day so the lighting for pictures wasn't the best.

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Blue Jay

Canada geese

Just as I crossed the road and entered the meadow area, I spotted two flocks of geese flying over the river heading east.  This was the first group.

I know at least some of the water birds in the above photo are Common Mergansers, but I can't be sure about all of them.  I know there is one gull there too.

Here's the view of the river looking East.

House Finch

On the way back to the meadow, I saw about 4 House Finches in the thicket just at the edge of the woods.  I couldn't get a good focus on them, but am including the picture anyway because I think it's a pretty bird, especially this time of year.

Next, I spotted several White-Throated Sparrows finding something to eat among the Sumac bushes.

White-Throated Sparrow

And more White-Throated Sparrows hanging around the stone wall bordering the red-maple forest trail area.

White-Throated Sparrow (tan-striped variety)

I headed back up toward the visitor center and spotted a Red-Tailed Hawk lift off from the trees near the road.  It crossed over the meadow and landed in the trees down near the river.  I wanted to go back down there and try to find it, but decided maybe I was a little too cold to do that!

Red-Tailed Hawk

I stopped to watch the sparrows in the thicket next to the street crossing.

Song Sparrow

Finally, I walked the short Woodland Loop.  There was still quite a bit of damage, I'm assuming from Hurricane Sandy, on the Woodland Loop trail.

This feather (assuming it's from a European Starling) was on the ground near the bird feeders outside the visitor center.  I thought it was pretty.

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