|A Killdeer lands on the grass outside of City Hall in Newton, MA. This member of the Plover family is often found far from the coast.|
|Lake Cochituate , located in Cochituate State Park in Natick, MA is a popular destination for kayakers, sailors and fisherman.|
After birding I headed over to Lake Cochituate in Cochituate State Park, Natick, MA, to meet my cousin to do some paddling. We rented kayaks from Charles River Canoe and kayak, which allowed us to explore a variety of ecological corners on the water, from marshy spots filled with turtles and ducks to narrow places where Herons, Kingfishers and Eastern Kingbirds watched for prey from hidden perches. I left my binoculars in the car, but brought along my camera and managed to see some really great birds, including a first of the season Belted Kingfisher. I was also positively delighted to get within about 3 feet of a Great Blue Heron hunting at the water's edge.
|A Great Blue heron surveys the waters of lake Cochituate from its perch on a tree branch. This species if normally quite skittish, but I was able to get a photo of this heron by allowing my kayak to drift quietly past the bird.|
We also came across myriad other wildlife, ranging from Dragonflies and Damselflies to Painted Turtles and Muskrats. Unfortunately, we also came across a variety of floating trash, including several Styrofoam trays, a beach shoe and a beach ball, all of which I loaded into my kayak and brought back to shore to throw away. I suppose that with a swimming beach and picnic area at the park it's inevitable that some errant trash may end up in the water, but it was upsetting to see nonetheless.
|Unfortunately it's not uncommon for trash and other debris to make its way into the water when people are careless. In this photo you can see we found a beach ball, Styrofoam trays and a water shoe.|
|A Wild Turkey forages beside the nature center at the Mass Audubon Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon, MA.|
|The fields At Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary offer great opportunities to see Tree Swallows, Chickadees, Eastern Towhees, Hawks and other birds.|
I finished off the day by taking some photos of wild flowers.
|Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is not only a great place to observe wildlife, but to see a wide variety of wild flowers, trees, ferns and shrubs.|
Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2012.