Monday, January 29, 2007

Visit to Blue Hills- January 28th

We were able to get out to Blue Hills this past Sunday since it was such nice weather (sunny and in the 30s- a relief from Friday's frigid temperatures). We went to the area east of Ponkapoag Pond. We had been out there once before to go to the Ponkapoag Bog area- one of my boyfriend's favorite areas in the park. We'll have to go back there in the spring to see what kinds of birds there are since it's such a unique part of Blue Hills.

A friend had given me a tip to expect some Northern birds to come down from Canada due to the cold temperatures. However, he was expecting them to be down on the Cape and I never made it down there this weekend. Nonetheless, we heard a lot of different calls while we were out in Blue Hills, but weren't able to spot very many. That's the difficult part about being in mature woods- we can hear them but can't spot them since they're up so high. I'll have to start looking into binoculars. I have the Columbia pair from Christmas so that's a good start in terms of getting familiar with how to use them.

The best spot of the day was at a bend in the path where there was a sunny little clearing. There I spotted some chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and a kinglet.

Earlier in the hike I spotted something that looked like a darker, drab-colored nuthatch. We consulted the Sibley Guide when we got back and it turned out to be a Brown Creeper.

Tufted Titmouse:

Brown Creeper:

Four Ponds Conservation Area

Last weekend we were in Bourne and went to Four Ponds to try and get some pictures of water fowl and other birds. After being spoiled with warmer-than-usual temperatures this winter, last Saturday was the first cold day that we had been out birding. My fingers really started to suffer by the end of the trip since I had to keep taking my gloves on and off to take pictures. I really need to get a pair of gloves with removeable finger tips.

Despite the frozen fingers I was able to get a few pretty good pictures, but the best ones of the day were taken by my boyfriend- specifically the swan pictures.

Mute Swan:

Bufflehead Male:
Black-capped Chickadee:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Rainy Weather Sighting: Northern Mockingbird

This picture was taken from inside our apartment on Saturday. It's our only picture from the weekend since it was so rainy out. We identified it as a Northern Mockingbird.

Correction: Golden-Crowned Kinglet

Thanks to a friend I was able figure out that last week's mystery bird was a Golden-crowned Kinglet. The Vireo wasn't an exact match of course and I knew the prominenet yellow crown had to show up somewhere in my guide.

I'm excited to identify more of the random birds that I see. Unfortunately it rained all weekend so I didn't get a chance to take any pictures. But there's always next weekend.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lunchtime Birdwatching

I took my new camera out to the Charles River for the first time yesterday. I was able to get out during lunch and I did my usual route, although had to turn around much sooner than I normally do since I was walking so slowly taking pictures.

The first picture of of what I believe is a Vireo, but I can't find any exact matches in my Sibley Guide or in images online. The closest match I found is a White-eyed Vireo. None of the pictures or drawings I've seen have the yellow marking on the crown.
Here's one of a Chickadee who was pretty animated hanging from this branch:

Here's a few of a Tufted Titmouse:

Can't wait to get out there again! Each time I learn a little more about using my camera and timing in catching birds.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Visit to Blue Hills

On Sunday my boyfriend and I went to Blue Hills to test out the new camera. This time we went to the Fowl Meadow area since we hadn't been there before and it seemed like a good place to look for birds. We didn't get there until midday so there wasn't too much activity, but we did manage to see some good birds. These included a Northern Flicker, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, a female Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker, and what we believe to be a Mourning Dove.

The best pictures of the day came from the nuthatch. I just love them- they have such great personalities.
Northern Flicker:
Mourning Dove (?): Yes I know, not too exotic. But at the time it seemed much bigger than any mourning dove I'd ever seen and I had never seen the tail hang down as long as it did. We were on one side of a creek and it was on the other side high up in a tree. When it finally flew away, again, it seemed much bigger than a mourning dove.
I was fortunate to be able to get out with my camera again yesterday. That post will come later on today.