Sunday, June 24, 2012

Broad Meadow Brook-Sunday

I decided to go to Broad Meadow Brook on Sunday to check out what was around but also to get in some light exercise in an attempt to workoff all the beer, baked goods and ice cream I've been enjoying over the past few weeks.  No sooner would I get out of my car that I'd hear the call of a Broad-winged Hawk and would be all excited until I heard some Blue Jays in the same area and would be impressed with the imitation.   I'd hear it again and look around and sure enough I'd spot the Broad-winged, in a tree looking annoyed.

See correction on hawk below here: Red-tailed Hawk

I'd get my bins on it and then realize I could still hear the Tee-Teee call of the hawk but I wouldn't see its bill move and this would be why.

There'd be two of them and as you can see this one is ticked due to a good old fashioned Blue Jay mobbing (see Jay to the left).  Wish the bird was in better lighting as this would have been such a good shot!

My walk would be forgotten at this point as I took my time looking at both hawks as its not that often I get the chance to see them perched and really wanted the shape and its field marks imprinted in my brain.  Soon enough though the American Crows got the hotline call from the Blue Jays and the one in the other tree would see the gang of crows headed their way  cawing up a storm and off it went and this one followed.

Broad Meadow Brook has done a lot of nice work along the trails lately and I was happy to see the new play area was complete so off I went to explore.

Whimsical tunnels for crawling.

And really cool logs for climbing!

I'd make my way along the path and see they changed their story book so of course exercise would be delayed again as I tried to ID the various birds along the way without cheating and looking at the answers.  While I do have to say the picture above is lovely, I don't miss winter feeding in the least right now despite the humidity!

I'd continue along the way and could hear the Broad-winged Hawks again and realized they took a turn near blackbird central.  It's an area at Broad Meadow Brook that's very birdy and this time of the year the various blackbirds seem to be the most common.  Not good for the hawks I'd think as I've seen blackbirds in action and they have no problem mobbing anything they deem a threat.

Sure enough I'd look up and see a Broad-winged trying to escape the wrath of an American Crow

The other hawk wouldn't be far behind as it tried to escape the Blue Jays who continued on its tail.

The other one would circle back with the crows right behind it and I'd realize life must be rough being a hawk.  No such thing as an easy meal and are subject to scorn and mobbing by passerines (especially the buteos which is ironic considering small mammals and other tiny non avian creatures are their preferred meals).  I think its because birds are too scared of accipiters to try those tactics on them as they know one felt swoop from a Cooper's would be the end of them.  Whatever it is, it's always interesting to observe, but can't help but to feel bad for the subject being mobbed.

After a while the hawks would be gone so I went about my business my brisk walk and was able to get about a mile without stopping

I'd make it to the Power Lines and see the usual Eastern Bluebirds hanging out on the wires.

Including some recently fledged.

A family of Indigo Buntings would be out as well which is always nice to see.

I'd make my way toward the Cardinal Trail when I'd hear a bird nearby
And that something would be a cardinal of course!!  It would be making a very weird note I'd never heard before and realized it was a contact call of some sort.  After searching I'd see who he was trying to make contact with.

And it would be this very recently fledged Northern Cardinal.  Seriously, for such gorgeous birds (both male and female), they sure do have some bizarre looking fledglings at first.  Oh well, in another week it will be beautiful.  

I'd get closer to the brook and sure enough a Song Sparrow would be out in full view in an area I love in winter due to the sparrow activity which is most welcoming in January when birds aren't so easy to see.

I'd finally get over to the brook and see a female Mallard with one ducking.

She'd decide to take off down the brook and would realize there were others but they'd be hidden.  In fact, I wouldn't even see them until I looked at the first picture blown up on my computer monitor.

The Red-winged Blackbirds would be out as usual including the male above who looks as if he's wearing a skirt! (must be Scottish)

And the female of course would be nearby and decided to pose nicely for the camera while admiring those shapely legs on her mate.

Besides the Broad-winged Hawks, my highlight of the day would be seeing the Tree Swallow above who appears to be nesting.  After reading the depressing posts on Massbird about all of the dead nestlings these birds have had with the wet weather, it was nice to see them attempting it again, and hope for better success this time.

I'd end the day with 6 miles on foot including some hills which was nice as hills are my favorite thing to hike and Broad Meadow Brooks Power Line trail has many of those and that's why it remains one of my favorite places to go nearby.

I'd head home after that and chill in the yard and then do a Target run and bring my bins and camera to do some light birding before hand.  Nothing out of the ordinary and would see 9 Turkey Vultures with no Black unfortunately.  I would get this Killdeer doing a flyby though.

These Killdeer are regulars at the mall and don't seem to mind the traffic, trash or anything else as you can see.

I'd head home after that hungry for dinner which would be Chicken Curry over white rice and a Smuttynose IPA.  I realize giving up beer is as unrealistic for me as giving up chocolate but decided to limit myself to 1 or two a night on weeekends only and since it's Sunday it's still the weekend I took full advantage of it.

The two went perfectly together, although I don't know much that doesn't go well with a ice cold Smuttynose, especially in the summer!

Take care all.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What a lovely summary- as someone who works at Broad Meadow Brook it was a real treat to know someone is noticing the improvements, enjoys the place, and saw lots of birds! THANKS for blogging!

Deb Cary


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