Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wayside Inn Grist Mill

You had to be up early today if you wanted to see any amount of sunshine.  Luckily for me, I woke up at 5AM, so I enjoyed some extra time outdoors before work.

First stop:  Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, MA

Next stop:  Wayside Inn Grist Mill, Sudbury, MA

As I crossed the bridge to enter the property, I flushed a Great Blue Heron from the stream.  It really didn't seem happy with me at all and soon landed in a tree almost directly above me to squawk at me.  He also had an extremely itchy chin, so I tried to capture its incessant scratching on video.  I was impressed with its good balance doing a one-legged scratch while perched on a tree branch!

The pond was half covered with green duckweed or something like it.  I wasn't expecting to see much of anything in that muck and was pleasantly surprised to flush two wood ducks from quite near the path.  Three more flushed soon after from the noise of my camera.

They all flew to the far side of the pond, where the water was still open, and the sun was still shining.  It was much prettier looking over there!

In the woods I came across a pair of Northern Flickers who had already established their nest hole in a dead tree.

I like the above photo because it shows how the Flicker uses its tail to prop itself on the side of the tree.

The sunlight began fading....

 Turkey Vulture

And that was pretty much it for the sun for the day (until evening when it showed up again for a little while).  It started raining when I was on my way home....

Mid-morning back at home, I heard some squeaking outside my office window, and when I looked, one of the Broad-Winged Hawks was sitting on a branch.  I soon realized it was the female because as I watched, the male flew in and mated with her.  She must have been calling out an invitation.  There was little time to react.  I grabbed my camera, but the male was flying off by the time I was able to get it out of the bag and return to the window!

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