Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Angry Birds of Early Summer

Fowl Meadow flooded
Thursday I took a long walk down the Burma Road that runs the length of Fowl Meadow. It was quite flooded but passable with muck boots. On three separate occasions, large birds exploded from the trail in front of me. I suspect woodcocks (I only saw them from behind), possibly driven from their cover in the woods, or maybe just out collecting worms.
Fowl Meadow, Canton, MA
After a certain point, the Burma Road becomes quite wild and birdlife becomes abundant and, during breeding season, irritated at passers-by. At one point, joining the easily distressed red-winged blackbirds, robins, and grackles, I had common yellowthroats, yellow warblers, Baltimore orioles, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and even a sweet little warbling vireo, chipping their anger at me.
The woods at Chestnut Hill Farm, Southborough, MA.
Friday morning I was out counting bobolinks at Chestnut Hill Farm. A healthy population: at least nine males, six females. Lots of singing and still some chasing.
Bobolink, Chestnut Hill Farm, Southborough, MA
They were also angry when I passed by.
Cutler Park, Needham, MA
This morning it was Cutler Park in Needham. I was surprised to find a pair of indigo buntings near the train tracks and yet another trail explosion in front of me (maybe woodcock again, though it looked a little snipe-like from behind).

An incessantly calling first-year male orchard oriole was my reward for making it to the river at the end of the trail.

But this time of year Cutler belongs to the common yellowthroats and the yellow warblers.  Some yellow warblers have already fledged, hiding their yellow-gray mottled selves in the brush off of the boardwalk.

Here is the video version once again too big to watch in its embedded form (it's in HD so you can watch it full-size if you please). And I apologize for the cheesy edit, but I wanted to incorporate footage of a raccoon traveling the Cutler boardwalk, completely oblivious to the possibility that I might be at the other end.

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