Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day at Cutler

One of two young bucks on the train track (detail below)

Took a nice slow Columbus Day morning stroll through lower Cutler Park, starting at the Great Plain entrance and going along the train tracks toward the river. Predictably birdy, though some surprises.

For example, it was nice to see red-winged blackbirds again, at least temporarily.

But mostly sparrows (the shot below is actually from the CRP--none of my swamp sparrow photos turned out today) and a surprising number of common yellow-throats. I enjoyed watching the swamp sparrows land on top of goldenrod and acting all surprised when it would bend beneath their weight.

The overall activity on the ground was suppressed by a Cooper's hawk in the air. The coop went on to buzz a roost of crows (who, surprisingly, seemed terrified and in no mood to gang up on it) and engaged in some mild dog-fighting with the resident red-tailed hawk pair.

Here's a robin enjoying some berries. Lots of red in this picture!

And I finally got a taste (just a taste) of ruby-crowned kinglet singing. I pulled out the binoculars and what did I see? A hermit thrush. (In nature-faker mode, I imagine the thrust and the kinglet deliberately hanging out--a mutual appreciation society of supreme summer and fall singers).

Here's my full ebird list

Location: needham
Observation date: 10/11/09
Number of species: 19

Mallard 6
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 1
Blue Jay 12
American Crow 50
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 25
Gray Catbird 2
Common Yellowthroat 8
Song Sparrow 20
Swamp Sparrow 8
White-throated Sparrow 18
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 10
American Goldfinch 5

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