Friday, April 8, 2011

A perfect day in early April

Palm Warbler, Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA

Rumors of warblers in the air, I drove over to Broadmoor this morning with a plan and high hopes. I would walk down the Glacial Hill Trail to the spot where I saw my first palm warbler so many years ago (actually just three!) And wouldn't you know--there they were, right where the Glacial Hill Trail hits the access trail to Rt 16. Probably a half a dozen or so, some singing that trailing trill that is so distinctive among all the chickadee, titmouse, and cardinal whistling.

Oh how I love you palm warbler, even when you turn away and ruin a perfect photo.

While I was down there I looked across the beaver pond to check out the old heronry along Rt 16. I spotted some activity--An osprey!

I'd achieved my warbler goal so I began to head back. That's when I heard an unholy noise behind me. A pileated woodpecker! I turned just in time to watch it fly past and into a tree right ahead.
There were at least two of them. Those are some huge loud birds. I don't know pileateds well enough to know if over-the-top screaming and machine gun/sledge hammer drilling are signs of woodpecker aggression or lovemaking.

On my way out I couldn't help noticing that the nest box situation at Broadmoor now included tree swallows. Could the same be true at the Charles River Peninsula? I stopped to see.

As I walked onto the meadow I heard the distinctive twittering sound of swallows in flight. Dear reader, it is no exaggeration to say I almost jumped for joy. (Actually, what I did was more like a fist pump--"Yessss!") Unlike Broadmoor they weren't directly competing for boxes but at least one was showing some interest.
And there was the first CRP phoebe of the year!
And there were the first warblers (see top of page)! A few palms and at least one yellow-rumped! The fun has truly arrived.

Below is the video version of the day. (You can watch full screen HD if you want)

No comments: