Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Frost

Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA
A perfect October morning. Bright sun. Crisp air. Brilliant foliage. A nice fall-out of migrant birds. First frost.
Frozen asters
Everything in the shade was frozen. At least temporarily.

Frozen buckthorn 
As the sun moved across the field, the frost lifted off.

It's been a while since I've seen deer at the CRP. I think I woke them up. Three. A doe and two maturing children. One by one they got up, looked in my direction for a while, and then leaped off through the brush.
Still keeping an eye on me.
It took me a while to realize that they were having trouble seeing me, as I was directly in front of the rising sun. And it wasn't very breezy so my scent took a while to travel.

The Peninsula was stuffed with yellow-rumped warblers, a grand finale to a fine 2012 fall warbler migration. Lots of palm warblers and bluebirds too. And about 30 northern rough-winged swallows, still staging on the wires over the river.

The (second) most surprising bird of the day: Purple finches! These, believe it or not, are pretty scare birds around these parts. I've seen a couple at the Peninsula, but only in the winter, and in small numbers. Here was a whole flock, feeding on berries. Part of the 2012 irruption I'm guessing.
(The most surprising bird was a female orchard oriole. )

Sparrows are also present in large numbers, white-throats still mostly singing out of tune yet. I kind of like this swamp sparrow pose,
Swamp Sparrow on Mullein, Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA
Oh October.

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