|Accipiters, Ridge Hill Reservation, Needham, MA|
About midway down the trail I hear the piercing "Kee-ah!" of a red-shouldered hawk. Then a horrible squeal and a rustle of grackles, a river of them streaming overhead. Aha, I thought.
As I stepped out onto the easement by the swamp I discovered I had underestimated the horror. Two accipiters (I'm guessing Cooper's but I couldn't get a clean look), three accipiters, no FIVE accipiters, all cruising the wetlands. At one point a stupid-brave blue jay acting alone came out to harass one of them, and was doing fine until others showed up (I think it got away). At any rate, one tiny sharp-shinned hawk is usually enough to put the wetland in panic mode. Five at once--that's just excessive.
A parallel horror--gas line easement clear-cutting. Actually, that part's fine--it took care of all the invasive buckthorn that's been crowding the trail. Whoever did the work, though, apparently didn't know there was a wetland on the easement and made a significant cut into the wet area before turning back.
|Wetland north of Field View Trail, Ridge Hill Reservation, Needham, MA|
|Tread-marks on Field View Trail|
Horror-chaser: A singing brown creeper (they are now migrating through in big numbers).