Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cliff Swallows at Stiles & Hart

I was thinking about being adventurous and going birding somewhere new today (I was considering Caratunk Wildlife Refuge in Seekonk and also Daniel Webster Wildlife Refuge in Marshfield) but opted to avoid the 45-minute drive and simply go for a walk in my backyard.

We're really fortunate to have Stiles & Hart Conservation Area right behind us. I've mentioned before how it's tauted as a 'Bird Watchers Paradise' since it has such bird-friendly features. There are many waterways (the Town River, its off-shoots, many ponds, and swampy areas) and open marshland. Nearly ever time I'm there I see a red-tailed hawk patrolling the marsh area, although there are several small trees in the middle of the marsh for the birds to escape to.

Today was a rainy/windy day but it was a success since I saw a life bird! I'm sure that I've seen a Cliff Swallow before since they nest in man-made structures like bridges and buildings, but that was before I was a birder. Actually, I think I saw one sitting on our utility line several weeks ago but was on my way to work and didn't have time to stop and make an ID.

I had stopped to watch some Chickadees in a tree along the bank of the river. Then I heard a different type of sound and looked around to see what it was. I didn't get very good pictures since the two Cliff Swallows were down by the bank of the river and I had briars and bushes blocking my view, with no way of getting closer without scaring them away.

I feel confident they're Cliff Swallows since in these pictures you can see the dark head and throat and the chestnut-colored face.

I also was watching a song sparrow down along the Town River. It was first in a bush on the marsh side of the river (where I got this picture) then flew down to the bank of the opposite side of the river and eventually up to a tree where it resumed singing.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good job, Catie! I've never seen a cliff swallow and can't tell one sparrow from another! Love the red winged blackbird video, too.