Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Afternoon Ramble Into Evening at Mass Audubon's Broadmoor Sanctuary

Late spring sunlight filters down through thickening vegetation at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2012.

The weather was so nice yesterday that I decided to take a walk at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary after work. What started out as a short walk to get come air and maybe see a few birds stretched into a longer ramble, taking me along the boardwalk and into the fields as afternoon slipped into evening and I lingered in the meadows, watching Eastern Blue Birds, both adult and immature flying from branch to branch above a sea of grass and milkweed.

An easy, rolling path cuts through a large section of meadow studded with trees and rocky outcroppings where Eastern Blue Birds, Baltimore Orioles and other migratory songbirds make their homes for the season. Image Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2012.
One thing I noticed today was that the vegetation, on both land and water, is definitely thickening. I would guess we still have a few weeks to go before everything fills in, but the landscape was definitely looking very lush. Along the way I counted some 19 species of birds and caught a glimpse of a beaver in the pond by the wildlife observation deck. One of the birding highlights of my walk was getting a very good look at two Eastern Towhees - one on the ground, scratching in the dirt and debris at the edge of a field, the other calling loudly from the top of a tree.

A male Eastern Towhee singing loudly from the top of a tree at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. Image Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2012.

Aside from a small group of Canada Geese and the continuing Mute Swan family, waterfowl were few and far between - I did see several ducks in flight in silhouette, but the lighting was not good enough to make an ID. I did however get some decent photos of a Great Blue Heron that was hunting in the wetland at the start of the boardwalk.

A Great Blue Heron hunting at the water's edge at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2012.
 Here are a few great online resources if you'd like to find out more about some of the birds mentioned in this post.:

1. To learn more about the Eastern Towhee, click here.

2. If you would like to know more about the Eastern Blue Bird and conservation efforts to support this species, click here.

3. For some more information about Mute Swans and the negative impact they are having on native plants and animals,  click here.

Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2012.

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