Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Color at Tower Hill Botanic Garden

I wasn't in the mood for a long hike this afternoon, but I thought it would be fun to check what was in bloom at Tower Hill.  Snow drops, crocuses, mini irises and witch hazel, as well as a few things I can't identify made for a bright and cheerful Easter afternoon.

Snow Drops



Iris Reticulata

Winter Aconite


Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel

Easter Morning at Great Meadows NWR

I attended an Easter Sunrise service in Framingham (outdoors!) in 31 degree temps and then headed on to Great Meadows NWR for a quick walk.  It's an absolutely beautiful day today!

Red-Winged Blackbird (male)

Hooded Merganser (male)

Hooded Merganser pair

Ring-Necked Ducks

This is the kind of "noise" I like to hear while visiting a sanctuary!

Ring-Necked Ducks
See one is showing his burnt colored ringed neck (the one looking towards the camera)

Ring-Necked Duck pair



Wood Duck pair

Common Grackle

Eastern Bluebird

I'm sorry to say that the Eastern Bluebird pair that I spotted were being treated very poorly by the grackles and the red-winged blackbirds.  If I were an Eastern Bluebird, I would find somewhere else to live.  They were being chased high and low.

Canada goose

Canada geese are not my favorite subjects, as I've said before.  But the water was so calm today that it made a nice reflection and the ripples were all from the goose paddling through the water.  I thought it made a pretty picture.


Red-Winged Blackbird

Hooded Merganser pair

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Birding at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary

I wanted to visit a new place today, so I headed to Marshfield to Mass Audubon's Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary.  I was disappointed to find that Nstar was doing some sort of work on a power line that runs across the sanctuary.  They are installing a temporary "road" in order to do the work.  So, if you can imagine, there were trucks with beeping back-up signals, front end loaders, workers yelling to each other, etc. etc.  Not exactly conducive to wildlife sightings.......

Here are the few things I was able to spot in spite of the noise:

American Black Ducks

Red-Winged Blackbird

Mute Swan

Turtles have come up from the depths to warm themselves in the sun!

A view of the Green Harbor River

Song Sparrow

I stopped next at Duxbury Beach.  Had to wait a couple minutes for a parking space.  It was such a nice spring day, with temps nearing 60, that there were lots of people out enjoying the day.

Common Loon

Canada geese


 Adult non-breeding plumage
Sanderlings (closeup)

Red-Breasted Merganser

 Tree Swallow

 Song Sparrow

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday birding

I started the day off with a nice view of the moon at Hopkinton State Park.

I then checked Sudbury Reservoir at Parkerville Road.  There was a small group of ducks sleeping in the reservoir, but of course, they woke right up as I approached and took off for safer places.

 Hooded Mergansers

Ring-Necked Ducks

The reservoir on the western side of Middle Road must get a lot more shade, because it was still partially frozen.  

Hooded Mergansers (2 pairs)

Canada Geese

During my lunch hour, I stopped at Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary in Hopkinton.  I wanted to check if the Ospreys had returned yet.  No sight of them, but the scenery was just beautiful with blue skies reflecting in the water and big, beautiful clouds above the tree line.

I almost missed this Red-Tailed Hawk as it flew by directly overhead.

Monet would have liked the water today, even without water lilies.

The main trail

Note:  The entrance to the parking lot is much wider now because the tree on the right side must have been damaged during the winter and has been cut away.  It always seemed like just inches of clearance on either side of the car mirrors before!