Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mid-August Blues

Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA
Been a while since I've walked the loop around the Charles River Peninsula.
Vandalism to Box 7, which had been replaced just this year
Long enough to have missed two nesting boxes busted by vandals. And to discover that the two late nesting attempts both failed: the tree swallow eggs in box 2 never hatched; the bluebird chicks disappeared from box 16 before they had a chance to fledge. Despite the myriad tree swallows fledged this year, this one goes in the "L" column...

But just as I was feeling down, a hummingbird zoomed out of the canopy over head and I snatched a bit of oriole song. I spent a while tracking down a blue-gray gnatcatcher in the leaf cover and listening to the loud "zzz"s of fussy waxwing children.

A lunch-time excursion to earlier in the week to Milton revealed this young great blue heron resting on a Neponset Riverwalk dock.  
Young great blue heron, Neponset Riverwalk, Milton, MA
Surprised by the wind
And peeps! My first good mudflat view this year.
Sandpipers and Plovers
I think things will be all right.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Great Meadows in early August

Great Meadows NWR
Stopped by Great Meadows on my way home today. 
Great Meadows NWR
Lotus in bloom. Peeps in the mudflats (unpictured).

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged blackbirds in the lotuses.

Great Blue Heron
Great blue herons, young and old. 
12-spotted Skimmer
And flying insects galore. Dragonflies and Butterflies.
Plus the following weirdness below. I thought grasshopper flight was strictly utilitarian. I didn't know it had display value as well.  In the video below, watch the fluttering grasshopper (if you listen closely you can even hear it fluttering like a little helicopter). Then watch two grasshoppers in engage in some sort of aggressive leg lifting dialogue.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Circling the Charles River Peninsula

Canoe launch, Redwing Bay, Needham, MA
Now I have a kayak. A birthday present from my gracious family. Took it out for the first time this morning. Oh what joy.
Charles River. Dover on the left. Needham on the right. Mute swan ahead.
I can now see all the places hidden from view when I walk the CRP loop.
Old wooden trestle, Charles River.
With unobstructed views of Charles River landmarks, including the old train trestle (no teenagers jumping off of it...yet...).

Central Ave/Centre St Bridge, Charles River
And picturesque bridges.
Flowering Mallow
Right now mallow (and purple loosestrife) dominate the edges, and flycatchers (including cedar waxwings right now) dominate the air above.

A new perspective on things. Thanks, again, dear family.