Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bluebirds! Season 4. Episode 12. Season Finale!

Empty bluebird nest
Well, that's that. The two remaining Eastern Bluebird nests at Charles River Peninsula are now empty. Looks like fledging happened. Though one never knows for sure. This nest is mighty clean. I would have expected a little more mess (though perhaps my expectations are thrown off by the magnificent poopy messes left by tree swallows).
Unhatched eggs
And adding a note of melancholy to this whole business, the other empty nest isn't completely empty. Two eggs left behind, unhatched....

But wait! What of the Ridge Hill spin-off project?  The two tree swallow nests have fledged. But what's this in box 2, the box originally chosen by bluebirds, who were then driven off by house sparrows?
Eastern Bluebird eggs
It would appear we aren't done yet.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mount Greylock

View from Summit of Mt. Greylock
In the Berkshires for the weekend, I had a taste for early morning birding on Mt. Greylock. I convinced Lily it was worth getting up at 5 a.m. to get there at sunrise.
Jones' Nose Trail
I'm not going to say I won her over to the joys of mid-summer sunrise birding, but she warmed up when she saw her first close-up Indigo Bunting.
Indigo Bunting,  Jones' Nose
They were singing, everywhere, loudly.
View from Mt. Greylock summit
Then it was off to the summit to see if we could find rare Massachusetts breeders. We were not disappointed. Blackpolls and Yellow-rumps, visible and singing. And juncos, so odd to see in the summer.
Dark-eyed Junco, Mt. Greylock
The highlight of the day: we were tracking down a Blackpoll Warbler when suddenly out popped what I thought was a Cape May Warbler, a longtime nemesis bird of mine. I caught a glimpse of cheek and pin-striped yellow breast before it zipped away but I was afraid to call it, being color-blind and all. "Was its cheek red?" I asked Lily. "Yes, it was red," she confirmed. We celebrated all the way down the mountain. Lily was happy she'd come, and I was too. For many reasons.