Thursday, April 2, 2015

Some Firsts for 2015

I actually saw the sun rise today!  Haven't done that in quite some time.  It was beautiful, and even though the sun disappeared behind clouds almost as soon as it rose, the clouds themselves were also stunning.

While I was enjoying the colors in the sky at Hopkinton State Park, I heard a strange hawk-like sound coming from the forest.  I spotted my first Wood Duck of 2015, a female, high in one of the trees.

I headed over to Southboro and checked out the water on the Sudbury Reservoir along Parkerville Road.  The little patch of open water was busy with Canada Geese, Common Mergansers, and Hooded Mergansers.

 Common Merganser (male)

Hooded Merganser pair

I stopped at Chestnut Hill Farm, too, and the sky was very beautiful above the open fields.

During my lunch break, I walked at Beals Preserve, which I found to be still quite snowy in the woods.  Ice Pond was still a good source of ice, and showed very little water at all, except a slight melting around the edges.   Down by the channel, a lot more of the ground was visible, so I thought I might return to check for American Woodcocks at sunset.

The channel was open and hosted Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Common Mergansers, Mallards, and Hooded Mergansers.  I also saw my first Tree Swallows of 2015 flying over the channel.  They are a good sign of spring.  Why?  Because they eat insects and can't come back until there is a steady food supply!

Black-Capped Chickadee

In the woods, I spotted Song Sparrows, a Brown Creeper, Black-Capped Chickadees, Dark-Eyed Juncos, and Tufted Titmice.

Back home, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to find some color in my yard!

I did visit Beals Preserve at sunset and didn't have to wait long before I heard two American Woodcocks peenting and performing flight displays.  I saw one fly across the path, but otherwise could only hear the whistling of their wings in the air.  I wasn't able to spot them in the sky.  In the parking lot at Chestnut Hill Farm, I heard my first Killdeer of 2015, too.

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