Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Looking Back: 2Q2015

New Birds:
Bicknell's Thrush
Eastern Meadowlark
Grasshopper Sparrow
Least Tern
Piping Plover

My 2015 bird list is up to 197 (so close to 200!) and my yard list is steady at 43.

New Butterflies:
Brown Elfin
Henry's Elfin
Indian Skipper

New Places:
Bay Circuit Trail, Wayland, MA
Blackstone Valley Bike Path, Millbury, MA
Blithewold Mansion, Bristol, RI
Brierly Pond Conservation Area, Millbury, MA
Ponemah Bog, Amherst, NH
Willow Farm, Ware, MA

So far this year, I have seen red foxes, woodchucks, mink, muskrat, white-tailed deer, porcupine, rabbits, gray and red squirrels, and chipmunks.

Biggest Surprises:

#1  Coming face-to-face with a porcupine on one of my hikes!

#2   A leucistic American Robin

Favorite Photos:

Nesting Birds:
American Robin
Baltimore Oriole
Barn Swallow
Black-Capped Chickadee
Canada Goose
Chipping Sparrow
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Phoebe
Gray Catbird
Great Blue Heron
Hairy Woodpecker
House Wren
Least Tern
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
Yellow Warbler

I had my first Eastern Bluebirds take up residence in the nesting box I put up last year.  I was so excited!  Five sweet little light blue eggs.  Five gangly naked ugly babies.  Five feathered little beauties.  But....before they could fledge, something got to them.  I remember the day it must have happened.  A hawk was in the tree out front, and I thought the birds were just nervous about its presence.  From that day on, the bluebirds were no longer sitting on the wire across from the box, and after two days of not seeing them, when I nervously checked the box (I had a bad feeling), it was empty.  I was heartbroken.  I'll have to try to make some adjustments before next year to see if I can make it safer for them.

Baby Birds:
Baltimore Oriole
Barn Swallow
Canada Goose
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Kingbird
European Starling
Gray Catbird
Great Blue Heron
Hairy Woodpecker
House Sparrow
Mute Swan
Piping Plover
Red-Winged Blackbird
Song Sparrow
Spotted Sandpiper
Tufted Titmouse

American Redstart
Black-and-White Warbler
Black-Throated Blue Warbler
Blue-Winged Warbler
Chestnut-Sided Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Magnolia Warbler
Northern Parula Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler

I also participated in one amphibian survey at Beals Preserve, digging in the leaf litter of the forest in marked off quadrants to search for salamanders.  We didn't find much, and I worried about ticks and poison ivy and throwing out my back, so it was an experience I'm not likely to repeat.  The woman I was paired with did find several salamanders.  She had a better eye for picking them out than I did.

During 2Q2015 I visited an additional 29 town/city halls while on my trips around Massachusetts.  I hope to see them all eventually, but I am not trying to complete it within any specific time period.


  1. Wow, you sure do put in the dirt time. Great stuff, Dawn!