Thursday, June 4, 2015

Catching Up the Blog

June 2 was cold and dark and rainy.  I actually had to break down and turn the furnace on because I just couldn't get warm indoors.  I went out with a bright red umbrella (not exactly prime camouflage) and found a cute Canada Goose family at Hopkinton State Park.   The goslings were huddled together for warmth.

Canada goslings

Also, while walking the parking area, a Killdeer was performing its broken wing routine to draw me away from its nest.  The bird pretends to be injured, luring a would-be predator away from its nest.  Once you are far enough to no longer be a threat, the bird's injury suddenly disappears, and it flies away to safety!  I would have loved to have spotted the eggs, but I had no luck, and I didn't want to stress these poor birds out by sticking around too long.


June 3 the sun came out again (after three straight days of rain and grey skies).  I headed over to BHCL in hopes of seeing some butterflies.  The Barn Swallows were happily digging around in the mud puddle in the parking area.  They probably were very happy to have some puddles after such a dry spring!

I spotted a flower I don't remember seeing before on Wildflower Hill.  I believe it is Baptisia Alba, or Wild White Indigo.  This hill was planted with wildflowers.

Wild White Indigo

I could hear a Bobolink singing in the orchard, but I was never able to spot it with my binoculars.  Nice to know there's at least one hanging around still.

European Skipper

Mass Butterfly Club's web site says of this species:  "In places and at times, outnumbers all other butterflies combined."  This was certainly true of the European skipper last year at BHCL.  It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers there are this season.

Black Swallowtail

Sweat Bee

European Skipper

Spring Azure

Common Ringlet

Peck's Skipper

Eastern Bluebird

Barn Swallow

June 4 started out sunny, but dark clouds moved in from the west pretty early in the morning.  I hit the trails at BHCL at 6:30AM and enjoyed the birds for a good hour before the dog walkers began filling the trails.

As soon as I neared the orchard area, I could hear the Bobolink singing.  This time, he was visible from the trail, and I was able to get a short video as well as several photographs.

Bobolink (male, breeding plumage)


Garden Bird's Foot Trefoil

Eastern Bluebird

Baltimore Oriole

Multiflora Rose


Prairie Warbler

and the cloud bank moves in from the west

Eastern Kingbird

On my lunch break, I walked at Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary.  The sun was intermittent.  64 degrees. 

Spangled Skimmer (female)

water lily

 Eastern Painted Turtle

Swamp Spreadwing (female)

Chalk-Fronted Corporal

 Green Heron

 Osprey (the pair)

a bit closer

 Pearl Crescent

Sheep American-Laurel

 American Lady

I included this last photo to show you how much pollen has been collecting on the surface of our lakes and ponds this spring.  That brown coating is pollen, built up at the edge of the water.  ICK.

After work, I drove over to Concord to check on the Great Blue Heron rookery.  It looks as if some of the young are nearly ready to fledge.  One nest that was crowded with three babies, and they were stretching their wings and flapping a bit.  Won't be long now.  In other nests,  the babies looked at least a week younger.  It's nice to see the progress.  The mosquitos were bad!

Great Blue Herons in the nest (two)

Parent with one young

Three siblings; one stretching its wings

On to Great Meadows NWR for a short walk before it was too cold to stay out (wimpy, I know)!

Song Sparrow gathering food for its nestlings

Red-Winged Blackbird

Marsh Wren

Ta da!  All caught up!

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