Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Birdwatching at the Charles River

Work has finally slowed down enough for me to take my walk at lunch again. Today was a little overcast, and much cooler than it has been, but it was good to get some fresh air.

I walk along the Charles River and have a 45-minute loop that I do. Now that I'm actively looking for birds, I've learned where to spot certain ones. The path at the beginning of my walk cuts down close to the river and I've decided that's my best bet for seeing interesting birds. It's overgrown and there are plenty of places for them to hide. On the first part of my walk I saw several titmice, a flicker, chickadees and house sparrows. Later in the walk I saw what I believe was a pair of warblers. I've seen this bird before on my walks along the river, and it's the first that I've tried identifying. This was the best picture I could get today, and although it's hard to tell, it has yellow markings on the crown and black and white feathers on the wings. I'll do a little more research to try and figure out exactly what kind it is, but I'm welcome to suggestions too.

I have an excellent little bird guide from 1909, written by Charles Reed of Worcester, MA. The title is Land Birds Bird Guide Song and Insectivorous Birds East of the Rockies. There are pages and pages of warblers in there and I think that's my best bet.

Thanksgiving Birdwatching

I had planned on doing some research and birdwatching over Thanksgiving, but unfortunately I was sick with a migraine for the two days I was home.

Luckily I was able to do some birdwatching over the weekend during a hike at Blue Hills (http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/blue.htm). My boyfriend and I go for hikes there as often as we can and this time I was particularly attentitive to the birds around us. It was a little too late in the day to see anything too interesting I'm afraid, but I was just happy to be out there.

I didn't get any decent pictures since I'm still learning the art of capturing birds, plus we were moving and there wasn't time to stop and watch. I saw lots of chickadees, nuthatches and a downy woodpecker again.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Visit to the Cape

Here are some pictures from my visit today to my parents house. They live on upper Cape Cod and their yard borders several acres of state forest. They always have a steady stream of birds visiting the bird feeders in the front and back yards.
Today was mostly a practice day, learning how to take pictures with my camera. I don't have the greatest camera, but it's good enough for right now. I was pretty excited about the chickadee I was able to capture in flight.
With the holiday coming up this week I'll have much more time to spend watching for birds both here in Boston and on the Cape.
I'll also spend some time researching birding and learning what I need to get started in this hobby.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

First Post!

Welcome to my birdwatching blog. I decided to start this blog to learn the fundamentals of birding and to document my sightings along the way. A major motivation for starting this blog is my upcoming trip to Hawaii (Big Island) in March. I'd like to be able to identify some of the birds I see while there.

Living in a suburb of Boston, I don't see the most exotic birds in my yard, but I hike regularly, go for walks on the Charles River and visit various conservation lands in the area.

As a child I was always hearing my grandparents talk about interesting birds that came to their yard, and I learned to identifiy common birds from them and my mother. It's their interest in birding that has stayed with me all these years and has made me always aware of the birds around me.

My vision for this blog is to share my experiences and knowledge as I learn about birding and put the practices into effect.