Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chickadee at Beals Preserve

I spent my lunch hour at Beals Preserve in Southboro.  I saw one Mourning Cloak but it was an uncooperative one and refused to be photographed.  Later, I saw a possible Elfin species, but it took off the trail, and I was not willing to chase it through tick-infested territory.

These are the other things that caught my eye:

Splish, splash!  He was taking a bath.

Double-Crested Cormorant in the channel

the channel

Song Sparrow

Red-Tailed Hawk

so pretty when the sun was out...which wasn't long

Not all tree tapping is done by woodpeckers.  I heard a tapping and saw this slim tree trunk shaking and when I came around to the other side of it, I found a Black-Capped Chickadee hard at work cleaning out a cavity for nesting.

Back at home, I suspect the bluebirds are hatching.  Both parents were outside of the nesting box in this photo, and both parents visited the nesting box, although I didn't have much of a chance to observe them.

Our peach tree is just about ready to burst into bloom.

Pine Warbler

Downy Woodpecker

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Double-Crested Cormorant at HSP

After hearing that we'd only have sun in the morning, I forced myself out of bed to get some nature time in before work.  I went to Hopkinton State Park where I discovered May flies were out in full swarming force.  It was still a very pretty morning.  Here are the highlights:

Double-Crested Cormorant

The tree (above) was driving me crazy with its red budded beauty.  It just doesn't show up as well in the photo as it did in real life.

At lunchtime, I took a walk at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land with Freddie.  By this time, the sun was gone and the clouds had taken over.

 Song Sparrow
singing his heart out
Brown-Headed Cowbirds

Savannah Sparrow
posing nicely on a fencepost and looking very gorgeous!

Back at home, I saw Mama Eastern Bluebird fly out of the nest, and then something unusual happened.  Papa Bluebird went into the nest.  I had not seen this behavior before.  So far, he had just been posting guard in a nearby tree and calling warnings to Mama B. if either a car or a person was in the area.

I focused my camera on the nest box to wait for him to exit and was happy to catch this photo.  I wonder if his going to the nest meant that the babies had been born, but I do not know.  I plan to wait until I see the parents bringing food to the nesting box before I try for a baby bird photo.

Eastern Bluebird

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Not bad for another cool, cloudy day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blue Skies at BHCL

It was a much prettier day today than predicted!  60s and mostly sunny.  I didn't see very many interesting birds, but I sure enjoyed the blue skies and white clouds.

 Leaves are just around the corner.

 Mourning Cloak

 Northern Rough-Winged Swallow

 American Goldfinch

I think forsythia is in peak bloom right now.  Other flowering trees are in bloom and daffodils are also looking great.  I'm going to have to get in a visit to Tower Hill Botanic Garden to see their daffodil meadow soon!

I drove out to Westboro tonight to photograph a tree that I thought would be pretty during a sunset.  I was right, but I left a little early.  The sky turned to all sorts of brilliant colors about 20 minutes later!  I could only watch it in my rearview mirror.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Back to Breakneck Hill Conservation Land

Guess what?  Grey skies and cool temps again.  Surprised?  Spring in New England.  Gotta love it (or leave it).  I only had time for a brief walk today.  Here are the things that caught my eye:

Chipping Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Don't miss those tiny cracks of blue sky!

Back at home:

Eastern Bluebird (aka Papa)

I heard a squeak out front so I looked for my resident Broad-Winged Hawk.  It took me a bit to locate it, but once I did, I wished I had my camera.  They were mating!  By the time I turned on the camera and focused, it was over.  Too bad!

 A few seconds too late...

Broad-Winged Hawk

Yesterday, I had a new bird at my thistle feeder.  It only stayed for a few seconds.  I was able to get one photograph before it flew off.  I didn't have time to work on its ID until today, when I happily determined it to be a female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Purple Finch (female)

Happiness aside, Josh F. has kindly provided me with an accurate ID of the above bird as a female purple finch, and not a female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.  Rats!  Wrong again!  Oh, well!  It's still a new yard bird and a First-of-Year for me.  I just have to chalk up another error in my bird IDs.  (So what else is new?)  Thanks, Josh!  I do appreciate knowing the right ID!