There were a number of incredible animals out today. Walking though the storm water wet lands I saw a Merlin siting in a tree eating a song sparrow, some blue jays came by and harassed the merlin for a little while then they left and the merlin began to eat. Further down at the oxbow there were a number of Canadian geese, some mallards, an american black duck, and a fairly young blue heron, about a year old. At the exit to little river in the storm water wetlands there were four blue herons (three in picture) all are adults and were siting together. On the other side of the river close to the meadow before the north trail there was a red tailed hawk eating a grey squirrel. Later on I saw a coyote walking along little pond, it was fully grown and looked very healthy. Winter usually means a decrease in wildlife sightings yet today there were many more animals than I expected to see. Defiantly one of the best walks I’ve ever had at Alewife.
List of winter birds at Alewife Reservation by Cliff Cook
photo: Jake Osborne (cedar waxwing)
Birding at Alewife – December 20
Birder Cliff Cook observed 28 different species of birds on a recent walk at Alewife Reservation, including a cedar waxwing like in the picture to the left, and reported his findings using the eBird smartphone app. Data collected by ordinary citizens can be valuable for conservation, restoration and monitoring projects, especially when government agencies lack the funds or political leaders lack the will to do the work.
Participation is fun and easy! You can see Cliff’s entire list of birds, and learn about the eBird platform, here .
I was walking at Blair pond on 10/19 and heard some rustling up in a tree. When I looked up I was surprised to find a Groundhog in the tree. It used a tangled mess of bittersweet vines to climb up and eat some plants that it other wise would have had a hard time getting to. It sat on the vines staring at me for around five minutes before it finally left into the forest. Here’s a picture of it:
I was at Alewife on Wednesday 10/19 and I was walking through the meadow at the end of the storm water wetlands and found a ton of different bugs. It was a fairly warm and sunny day so there were a lot of different bugs out like Sweat Bees, Bold Faced Hornets, Honey Bees, Carpenter Bees, Bumble Bees, a few different Stink Bugs, Field Crickets, Red-Legged Grasshoppers, Black Corsair bug, Meadow Hawk Dragonfly, Familiar Bluets, a unknown Ichneumon Wasp, a Sulfur Butterfly, Cabbage Whites, an American Copper butterfly, and even a Monarch!
On the wildlife we saw two White Tailed Deer, Evidence of Raccoons, two Mute Swans, a Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, Blue Jays, various Sparrows, Spotted Cucumber Beetle, Painted Turtles,Bullfrogs, and a baby Garter Snake.
On August first I found these catfish dead in the fore bay of the storm water wetlands. The catfish were the only thing that were dead, painted turtles, sunfish and green frogs were still living in the fore bay and seemed fine. There were about 15 dead fish, they looked skinny and some had weird lumps on them that looked like tumors. If anyone knows what caused them to die please comment.