Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hopkinton State Park

I managed to find one interesting species both morning and noon in spite of only having a few spare minutes to devote to birding.

I have a serious question about Hopkinton State Park.  Why aren't there more waterfowl species present?   It's such a nice, medium-sized body of open water.  All that I typically find there are Canada geese.  Anything else seems to be an oddball.  Like today, a single individual Ruddy Duck female.  Why was she there?  Why wasn't there a whole flock (appropriate if ducks are in flight)?  Or raft (appropriate if ducks are in water)?  Or whatever it is that a group of ducks is known by?  I don't understand it.  Farm Pond, in Framingham, is a smaller body of water, seems more polluted, is certainly surrounded by a much noisier set of neighbors (i.e., railroad switching yard) BUT typically has far greater varieties and numbers of waterfowl than Hopkinton State Park ever has.  Why is that?

Accipiter species Hawk

Ruddy Duck (female)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bluebird is the Word

I walked at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land during my lunch break.  This place has such a positive effect on my peace of mind.  There were Eastern Bluebirds everywhere.  It was so awe-inspiring to witness the brilliant blue color flashing against the muted autumn tones of the meadows and trees.  Over and over again!  In the upper meadows, the bluebirds were flying from perch to perch, landing on any growth that stuck up higher than the cut grass.  Farther back on the trails, they were flying from tree to tree.

 Blue Jay (competing for a prize in the brilliant blue plumage contest)

 Dark-Eyed Juncos
foraging on the path

Eastern Phoebe

 Woodpecker (poss. Hairy)

White-Throated Sparrow

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hopkinton State Park and Sudbury Reservoir Trail

I had to check out the sunrise today at Hopkinton State Park.  Bird activity was fairly quiet, with the exception of Dark-Eyed Juncos and Song Sparrows.

 Song Sparrow

Boats are all put away for the winter.  I noticed they are all safely secured with locks.  Two years ago, someone was stealing the kayaks and selling them.  He was so greedy that he kept coming back for more until he was finally caught with a kayak tied to the roof of his car.  The boat owner had hidden a GPS device in the kayak so he was able to direct police to the criminal's location.

I spent my lunch hour on the Sudbury Reservoir Trail (Parkerville Road) in Southboro.  There were a lot of birds.  Not all were cooperative for photos though!

I saw:
American Robin 5
Black-Capped Chickadee 5
Blue Jay 3
Dark Eyed Junco 4
Double Crested Cormorant 2
Eastern Bluebird 10
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Mourning Dove 8
Mute Swan 1 (left leg has red band; not all visible but ended with 2)
Northern Flicker 1
Ruby Crowned Kinglet 3
Turkey Vultures 7 (flyover)
White Breasted Nuthatch 3
White Throated Sparrow 8
Yellow-Rumped Warbler 4

and one mystery warbler

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

Mute Swan

Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaeus)

I came across this brilliant color combination (red/pink/orange) on a bush growing near the river.  If you know what it is, please let me know in the comments!   Thanks to Beth M. for help with ID.

Eastern Bluebird

Monday, October 28, 2013

Back to BHCL

Surprised?  Ha!

And who could blame me with a view like that????

 Apple eating House Finch (male)

and female

birds, not leaves (click to enlarge but it won't really help!)

Eastern Bluebird

Northern Mockingbird

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Birding at Fruitlands Museum

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Hermit Thrush

Cedar Waxwing

White-Throated Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Cedar Waxwing

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Fruitlands Farmhouse

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Frosty Fall Day

It was near freezing this morning, and I figured it would be a pretty, frosty start to the day before the sun warmed things up.  I had planned to sleep in, but I couldn't so off I went to Hopkinton State Park.

Dark-Eyed Junco

 Song Sparrow

Followed by a quick walk at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land....

 House Finch

Chipping Sparrow

After a short break at home, I drove over to Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, where they were re-enacting the Battle of the Red Horse Tavern.

 Fife & Drum Music

 Artillery Demo (tee hee)

I do not like loud noises.  Therefore, I am not cut out to photograph re-enactments, particularly artillery demonstrations.  Every time they shot this canon, I jumped about a foot in the air.  That's how I got the above photo.  I did press the button when I jumped!

I got lucky with that one.  Still jumped!

My friend Linda Greene, cleaning her weapon and preparing for battle (in amber dress center)

Walking back to my car, I spotted these two little colonial girls dropping fall leaves into the stream.

Once I got far enough away from the gunfire, I started seeing birds again!

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

White-Throated Sparrow