Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Cranberry Bog and Moose Hill

A sign points the way to a half-mile loop trail behind the Bass Pro Shops store in Foxboro, MA. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
Sometime earlier this month I found myself in Foxboro, Massachusetts at one of the stores on Route 1 near the stadium. As I was looking around I noticed that there was a nature trail and pond behind the shopping center and thought it looked like it might be a good place to check for ducks the next time I was in the area, so today I finally made it back to the spot and took half an hour to explore.

A large pond sits just off of Route 1 in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where it is surrounded by a mixed forest of mostly Pine. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
 I followed the path around the pond, scanning the water and woods for any signs of bird life. I think this spot has potential on a weekday when there is less foot traffic, but even with lots of people around today, many walking dogs, I was still able to see two pairs of Mallards, a Blue Jay and a male Red-winged Blackbird which was hidden deep inside a brush pile by the water's edge. The path itself was easy to follow, though a little steep and slippery with half-melted snow in some places. All in all, not the best place to go birding, but a pretty spot nonetheless.

My next stop was at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon, Massachusetts. Here I had much better luck, where my first stop was the nature center where I spoke briefly with a very helpful staff member who was kind enough to tell my about a flock of Pine Siskin still hanging around and also suggested a spot to look for a Pileated Woodpcker. A few minutes later I was outside checking the feeders by the nature center when I spotted a female Pine Siskin - bird #101 for the year, and a new life bird for me. I was excited. The rest of my wanderings failed to produce a Pileated Woodpecker or any other new birds, but the weather was gorgeous and I got great looks at some Northern Cardinals and other more common birds. I was also very happy to see the first Skunk Cabbage of the year shooting up from the mud along the boardwalk.

Skunk Cabbage emerges from the mud in wetland along the boardwalk at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon, Massachusetts. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
A tree budding was yet another sign of spring at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary today. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.

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