Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Beautiful Start at BHCL

This morning dawned cold but bright.  I drove over to Hopkinton State Park hoping for, and finding, fog on the water.  As I was parking the car, a Great Blue Heron flushed and flew across the foggy water to quieter fishing grounds on the far side.  I was the only person in this section of the park.  I love having the early dawn all to myself.

 Canada geese

Tree Swallows

It doesn't take long for the fog to burn off under the warmth of the rising sun.  As it did, I moved on to Breakneck Hill Conservation Land to see what warblers I might find there.  Of course, the frost on the young meadow grasses was a beautiful field of shiny diamonds, another favorite fleeting subject to photograph.  Sigh!

The second nesting box from the parking lot was once again in the midst of a territorial dispute, this time between two pairs of Tree Swallows.  

At the top of the hill, I started hearing the birdsong of multiple Yellow-Rumped Warblers and found the apple trees to be busy with them.

This Yellow-Rumped Warbler was preening its feathers so I had ample opportunity to snap its photo.  Looks nice and dry and fluffed up here.

 Mr. Eastern Bluebird

 Song Sparrow

 Mourning Dove

 Savannah Sparrow

 I see you!

 Frost still showing on the shady side of the property

 American Goldfinch
(I just love this combination of an acrobatic pose, the bright blue sky and the fresh green tree buds!)

 Tufted Titmouse

There was a pair loudly scolding from this apple tree.  I assume a nest is nearby but couldn't see any signs of it.

This American Robin was working on a nest in the fork of the apple tree.  (See the dried grasses hanging down?)  I also saw a pair of Black-Capped Chickadees in the edge of the woods that were coming and going from a nest hole and a House Sparrow that was carrying nesting materials in the pond area.  Nice to see the beginnings of another cycle of life.

I took my lunch break at Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary.  I hoped for a Pileated Woodpecker sighting.   Why I keep coming up with ideas of what I'd like to see is beyond me (and so unnecessary).  I didn't see a Pileated, but....I had a great hike anyway.  :)  I also ran into two National Park Service volunteers who were enjoying the sanctuary too, and we had a nice chat.

Black-Capped Chickadee

Eastern Kingbird
First of Year 

Tree Swallow 
Gathering nesting materials

Common Grackle
Showing off those beautiful iridescent feathers

Henry's Elfin
A very pleasant and unexpected surprise

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

There was a swarm of insects flying just in front of this tree.  This warbler and a Palm Warbler flew out, hovered like hummingbirds, grabbed something to eat and then came back to the tree to rest.  It was fun to watch!

The "rump" view
for which it is named

Palm Warbler
(Please look this way!)

That's more like it!

Hermit Thrush

Eastern Pine Elfin

Black-Capped Chickadee 
working on a nest hole

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