Great Blue Heron

This heron decided to hang out in the little pond behind building 100 in Discovery Park today.  It looks like he caught a snack too!  Since that’s where the tons of tadpoles were weeks ago, I imagine there are a bunch of frogs to snack on.

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Bird walk today at Alewife Reservation

About 15 people joined me this morning and we walked the length of Acorn Park Drive along the path next to the Little River, ending at Little Pond. Anne-Marie Lambert was very helpful answering questions about the Silver Maple Forest. We were treated to 29 species of birds, many singing for us, and the highlight was a singing Rose-breasted grosbeak. Some photos are posted here:

http://tinyurl.com/far20140621

–John Sharp, Arlington, MA

Close encounter with magic

IMG_0512As I was looking for the Prothonotary warbler this morning, I felt a presence. I turned and there was a doe ten paces behind me. She looked at me for a few minutes then walked right by, a mere four feet away from me. She went to a small den beside a tiny stream and settled in. I took a few pictures then left her to rest. Magical.

First Monarch Butterfly of 2014

While trying to find the Prothonotary Warbler, I located a very fresh Monarch Butterfly nectaring on the wild raspberry flowers. There were also four Tiger Swallowtails, one Black Swallowtail and over 25 Cabbage White. I took a picture of the Monarch and also a skipper that I need to identify before posting.
The Prothonotary Warbler sang to another birder this morning, but did not come out of the underbrush.
I will return several mornings this week to see if I can see it again and take a picture.
Of note today:
Willow flycatchers
Yellow Warblers (abundant)
Great Blue Heron (being harassed by red-wing blackbirds)
Lorene Melvin

Prothonotary Warbler on North Trail

One half mile in on the North Trail this morning, I found a singing male, bright yellow with black wings, no wingbars or eye stripes in a swampy area. After consulting three guides and watching it for 15 minutes, I had to believe that it was a Prothonotary warbler. This is a rare bird in MA and I was well aware that I was sticking my neck out to announce it, but by tomorrow morning the North Trail should be crawling with some of the best birders in the world….
I will be there hopefully to hear them confirm my sighting. I will also bring my camera.

Lorene Melvin

Snapping Turtle nest digging?

This morning almost every person who came into work came directly to me and said ‘There’s a snapping turtle digging on the side of the road!  She’s huge!’ – So I naturally took my camera and went to investigate- this is on Acorn Park Drive just before building 100.   Not the best place to dig a nest for eggs.

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Snapping turtle, away out of water (May 2013)

I came across this little guy/gal about 20 feet from the water on North Trail. I have never been sure where it came from or what it was doing. It wasn’t nearly as large as the other snappers I’ve seen in the area (this one was about 6 inch shell end-to-end), and it still looks pretty moist. However, you’ll notice in the last picture that it’s been in that spot long enough that red ants have noticed it might make a nice meal. I never saw it on the trail after that afternoon, or noticed any remains nearby.

All pictures on North Trail, 5/8/2013, 1PM;

Snapper 5/8/2013 (pic 1)

Snapper 5/8/2013 (pic 2)

Snapper 5/8/2013 (pic 3)

Snapper 5/8/2013 (pic 4)