Thursday, October 30, 2008

Charles River Peninsula, Hay Field

Tis the season for hay mowing at the CRP. (Looks like I got photos of stalk perching just in time.)

The peninsula is crawling with robins right now.

And the golden-crowned kinglet made an appearance just as the sun was setting. Still not a "good" photo but an interesting impressionistic one. And there is no question this is a golden-crown!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stalk perchers

Phoebes and bluebirds. Perching on stalks.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Adventures in Color-Blind Birding 1: Savannah Sparrow

You chased my flockmates and me up and down the trail. And when you finally got a half decent look, you were disappointed. Just another song sparrow, I heard you mutter. Did you not see my yellow eyebrows? My beautiful yellow eyebrows? Do I really look like a song sparrow to you?

[Thanks, Lily and Anna, for helping me with the ID.]

Friday, October 24, 2008

Little birds at the Charles River Peninsula

Recently I haven't needed to leave the parking lot of the CRP to see some nice bird action. (Good thing too, because I haven't had much time to go meadow walking). The pine and yellow-rumped warblers can always be found in the late afternoon hanging around the willow trees near the river.

And today they were joined by kinglets. I got the cutest photo ever of an upside-down branch-hanging golden-crowned kinglet. Here it is below!

My only consolation: nice close-ups of its ruby-crowned pal. It was perching so close to me today I could barely find it in my viewfinder.

The kinglets were back again this morning. And I got another great picture of the golden-crowned...
OK, still got work to do... Meanwhile, the ruby-crown has been more than happy to pose.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Light morph

The other day, I noted a strange black and white hawk that I had initially confused with a seagull. Today I was blessed with a closer view. What a beautiful red tail.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bluebirds and Pine Warblers

A bounty of birds at the Charles River Peninsula this afternoon. The bluebirds were less skittish than usual, allowing both well-focused photos and close-up views of their just-off-the-ground hovering.

And later I ran into their pals, the pine warblers, bug hunting in the ragweed.

Plus a lot of other birds (kinglet, palm warblers, yellow-rumped warblers) that I saw but photographed badly. I think the one below, despite the low quality, is worth showing, though. I thought at first it was a seagull (white body, black wings--even the way it moved was gull-like). But it clearly wasn't. What it actually was, I'm unqualified to say.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Beautiful Fall Afternoon at the CRP

Sunny October afternoon, a perfect balance of warm and cool. The winter birds are setting up. This handsome American tree sparrow white-crowned sparrow, for example.

And I hope the kinglets aren't just passing through (especially now that I recognize their song). I wonder when the great blue heron will finally leave.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hello, Kinglet!

At the edge of the path at Cutler, this little Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. If you listen very closely you can hear it sing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Confusing fall warblers

The other day I posted about some yellow palm warblers that I saw at the Charles River Peninsula. Today some more palm warblers (tails a-waggin') but not yellow (except for a little dash under the tail). The confusing part: I thought this type, called the "western" variety in the guidebooks, was in fact "western." Guess not.

Millennium Park

Legions of yellow-rumped warblers have descended upon Millennium Park in West Roxbury. Not that I got any good photos (too many unleashed dogs lunging into the brush). This time of year I'm happy enough just seeing chippies and song sparrows, and listening to white-throats. [UPDATE two years later: actually, white-crowned sparrows and savannah sparrows!]

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall Foliage Lift Ride (Blue Hills Reservation)

A fun and economical way to spend the afternoon. Two bucks a person to ride the ski lift up to the top of the Great Blue Hill and back down again. The foliage hasn't peaked yet but it was a lovely day and the visibility was great. Lily made us go up and down twice (the second time was free).

After the fall foliage ride, we went over to Houghton's Pond and Lily played on the rocks in the stream that runs into the pond. I snuck off for a little bit and watched a large flock of white-throated sparrows that was feeding in the shady grass.

Caratunk Wildlife Refuge

Yesterday, I took Lily to Caratunk, a Rhode Island Audubon Society property. Met Nana there. It was a gorgeous day. We tramped through the woods and the fields. Lots of warblers, phoebes, and mockingbirds there.

We heard this one singing, though it was strangely unmocker-like. Mockingbirds usually repeat more distinctly; this one just kept fluidly at it (more like a catbird)and was rather soft and warbly. Here's the record. A moment after I snapped this picture, a little hawk swooped down and almost got Mr. Mocker.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Palm Warblers at the Charles River Peninsula

A flock of palm warblers graced the meadow this afternoon, mixed with some yellow-rumps. Got some decent shots.

Including this puffed up guy with the head-on skinny head perspective.

And in the river, a darling little pied-billed grebe.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yellow-rumped Warblers at Broadmoor

An exceptionally nice fall day. I sat for a while on a bridge in the sun at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary and watched a yellow-rump catch bugs.

We were joined by a skulking swamp sparrow at one point.

And on the trail back, a bounding doe.