Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday Birding

I started at St. Phillips Cemetery in Grafton, where I hoped to see the Great Horned Owl that was recycling a Great Blue Heron's nest.   Three other birders arrived shortly after me, and I was able to get a good look at it through a scope.  My binoculars just weren't strong enough to give me a good look at it, way across the marsh.  It was fun to see.  I dare say it's a "cute" owl, with its ears sticking straight up on the sides of its head.

Here's my rotten record shot.  You can just make out the outline of the owl's head to the right of the thick branch that sticks up out of the center of the nest.  (Click to enlarge.)

There was a pair of Eastern Bluebirds checking out potential nesting holes here too.

 First the female takes a look....
(Can you see her?)

then the male takes his turn.

St. Philip's Bird List:

American Robin
Blue Jay
Dark Eyed Junco
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
European Starling
Great Horned Owl
Northern Cardinal
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Song Sparrow
Turkey Vulture

From here, I headed over to Pierpont Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Dudley, hoping to spot the Pileated Woodpeckers that had been seen there last weekend.  No luck with the Pileateds, but I did add a new sanctuary and had a nice hike in the snow.  The temperature moved into the low 50s, and it felt wonderful!

A sure sign of spring - the worm, not the American Robin!

Downy Woodpecker

There were lots of woodpeckers on the woodland trail, but none were the Pileated.  Good habitat though!

First-of-Year Red-Winged Blackbirds (female on left)

American Robin, posing nicely

From here, I drove up to Tower Hill Botanic Garden to see if any snowdrops were blooming yet.  Wishful thinking, I know!

Not quite, but soon!

Eastern Bluebird
(perched on a snowplow marker)

Turkey Vulture

I walked through the Orangerie and the Limonae to see what was in bloom inside these buildings.  

 Shrimp Plant

Mexican Hat Plant

 Northern Mockingbird

Coral Bark Willow

American Robin
Last shot of the day!

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