Sunday, January 27, 2013

Halibut Point State Park 2013

Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA
It was sunny but frigid in Rockport, the wind chill at about zero. Cool ice patterns in the quarry.

Cool patterns in the ice.

Visible sea bird life was minimal. A long-tailed duck or two popping their heads out of the waves.
Long-tailed duck, Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA
A few relatively small rafts of harlequin ducks, all business.
Harlequin ducks, Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA
Too cold for frolicking. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Odd Feeder Year

Northern Cardinal, Needham, MA
This is the first year in the five years or so I've been actively feeding birds that a cardinal pair have been regular visitors to my window and tube feeders (technically under the feeders competing with squirrels for seeds rejected by others). Every once in a while I catch a strain of mid-winter cardinal song. Makes it feel like March.

Northern Cardinal, Needham, Ma
But it is an odd year for other birds, not just because we have been blessed with myriad red-breasted nuthatches.
Red-breasted Nuthatch, Needham, MA
Goldfinch numbers are way down (no one is visiting my new nyjer feeder, though a junco tries to pull some seeds out every once in a while). And oddities of oddities I'm seeing far fewer house sparrows. Not that I mind (and I know populations are robust in other parts) but it is a little disconcerting....

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Windy morning in January

Ridge Hill Reservation, Needham, MA
Bird song minimalism. Wind textures. Tree creaks.

Moldy Hemlocks, Ridge Hill Reservation, Needham, MA

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Springtime in January

Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA
Chickadees and titmice singing. Muskrats on the surface snacking. Bluebirds in the air. Balmy breezes. It must be spring!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Pine Grosbeak" should be the name of a color

Pine Grosbeak, Wilmington, MA
Irruption 2012/2013 keeps giving. Today on the way home I took a short detour to see the well-publicized flock of pine grosbeaks at an office park in Wilmington. As with the white-winged crossbills, the real revelation was how fantastically beautiful they were. Parrot-like really, especially when twisting all about to get at crab apples.