Wednesday, March 27, 2013

At last, a sunny day

Blue skies and acres of open water made for some great birding at Great Meadows National wildlife Refuge in Concord, Massachusetts. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
After so many cold, frozen days spent outdoors over the last 3 months, I took real delight today in being able to shed my fleece jacket and spend some time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. As I walked around the Concord section of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge I kept thinking to myself that soon enough I'll be able to trade in my mittens and a wool hat for sunblock and bug spray. When I arrived at the impoundment this morning there was a clear blue sky overhead and birdsong filled the air - as soon as I stepped out of my car I could hear Red-winged Blackbirds, White-breasted Nuthatches, Red-bellied Woodpecker5 and Song Sparrows calling all around me. The Song Sparrows were particularly vocal and I love to see such a robust sound coming from such a small bird, so I made sure to track down one of the singers and take its photo.

A Song Sparrow sings from its perch on a bare branch at the water's edge at Great Meadows NWR in Concord, Massachusetts. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
There were also a good number of ducks out on the water today, including a group of about a dozen Ring-necked Ducks and at least two pair of Common Goldeneye, one of which was feeding quite close to the shore, so I got an excellent look at both the male and female. I scanned the sky for any sign of the Opsrey I saw there over the weekend, but aside from two Turkey Vultures which drifted past overhead there was only blue sky as far as the eye could see. In addition to the birds I also saw several Muskrat, a Painted Turtle sunning itself on a half-submerge log near the river and I think I may have even heard a frog or two making some noise deep within the dead cattails from last year.

A Muskrat comes out into the sunshine to search for food at Great Meadows NWR in Concord, MA. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.
I didn't manage to add any new birds to my New England birding big year list, but I did enjoy being outside in the warm(er) weather, and I ran into a friendly fellow birder who was kind enough to give me a few tips about about where to look for certain species at the refuge at different times of year, which I really appreciated. I'm looking forward to going back soon and checking out the places he recommended and continuing to explore the refuge, which is truly one of the most beautiful spots I've found for birding and wildlife observation in the greater Boston area. Thanks for reading.

Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.

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