Friday, October 3, 2014

Back to the Great Outdoors!

Did you miss me?  I was sick with a cold, or worse, and it took me until yesterday to feel well enough to venture outdoors again.  It was so nice to feel the fresh air and see birds again, in spite of the poor weather conditions!

See that tiny patch of blue sky?  That was it, and it only lasted a couple of minutes.

I spent my lunch break yesterday at Hopkinton State Park and was well rewarded with a Belted Kingfisher, some mystery Sparrows, a Solitary Sandpiper and Canada Geese (well, I had to include them to be fair, right?).

I first heard the Belted Kingfisher rattling near the boathouse but couldn't get an eye on him.  I soon flushed him from the top of a paddle that was standing upright on the floating boat dock.  I wished I would have seen him from that close vantage point, but eventually I was able to track him down to the shore closest to Route 85 and take a very distant photo.

Belted Kingfisher

While I was tracking the kingfisher, another bird peeped and took off low across the water towards the same general area.  I was certain it was a sandpiper, so I tried to track it down too.  I believe it is a juvenile Solitary Sandpiper.

Spotted Sandpiper
(Thanks to Josh F. for assistance with the ID.)


With a little sunshine and blue sky, these shorelines would have looked a lot prettier!

Chipping Sparrow (non-breeding plumage)
Nice white eye ring....will research later.
(Thanks, again, for the ID, Josh!)

I drove down to the lower beach and at the final curve in the road, there was a car stopped.  I figured they had some sort of wildlife sighting, and I was right.  This prehistoric creature was crossing the road!  Look at his mud cap (on both his head and his shell)!  And check out those claws!  I doubt there'd be too many people willing to stop and help this turtle across the road....

 Snapping Turtle


  1. Glad you are feeling better and back on the trail... I'd venture to say the sparrow is a Chipping Sparrow in non-breeding plumage. As for the sandpiper, I think you may have photographed a Spotted Sandpiper. Happy Autumn to you!

    1. Thanks, Josh! Appreciate the feedback and ID help!