Seems to be a few herons around lately…..or a couple that move a lot… hard to tell them apart?…. Mostly we see the Great Blue Heron…. here’s a pic of a 3 or so year resident….he’s an adult now….. and I was really lucky to get this pic of a Green heron….much smaller but very smart …..
On damp Saturday I saw about 8 Canada Geese on the north side (Acorn Park) eating the grass they love…. Today there were 3…. we had some conversation while they continued to feast in the meadow…. on our way back to the wetlands, we saw a about 11 more swimming in the Little River!…. Let’s hope they hang around…. welcome them!!….
I’ve been seeing Great Blues in the wetlands in the last few weeks… No geese, not many ducks….. but herons… several… wondered what they were hungry for…. there’s the frogs ( hide Banjo!)….and maybe fish??…. Today we caught a glimpse of what looked just like a newly fledged Great Blue… a mini- with a little fish…. that s/he quickly abandoned when we rounded the corner….. in the channel of the Little River…..
I don’t know if any babies have been seen…. seems like it’s been a question if heron breeding happens at the Reservation….. so keep a sharp eye out for the mini heron…. a photo would be great… then we would know there is at least one nest this season….. it’s just their time to fledge….. Shortly we ran into a juvenile heron…. probably born last year or the year before…. juveniles have ‘crosses’ on their neck… the beginning of the long fringe breeding feathers that grow in when it’s time for them to mate, about age 2…. there’s a few around AR…..babies don’t have that and may have a spot of white on their crowns…..or even what looks like a crew cut……..
Despite the intermittent rain showers and very wet foliage, Dave led an informative nature and history walk on the North Trail. He is a professional tracker, a wildlife assessor and has completed wilderness survival training in the Sierra Nevada mountains. He was filled with information about the animals of the reservation, plants, and the history of the area. We got to eat for free owing to the abundance of ripening blackberries throughout the reservation. We saw many deer tracks, found a toad, and lamented that the rain made the birdlife and butterflies scarce. But the information and knowledge more than made up for the dearth of creatures. The walk will be repeated in three weeks.
Sunday brought more sunshine and the birds as well as one species of butterflies were out. There was a major migration in of Cedar Waxwings (21) and Blue Gray Gnatcatchers (9). Seven immature Baltimore Orioles were seen. On the Alewife Greenway, 21 broad wing skippers (butterflies) were nectaring on the loosestrife in the sun. Other birds seen:
Chimney Swift 4
Great Blue Heron 1
Black Crown Night Heron 1
Song Sparrow 4
Starling 17 (flocking up already)
Blue Jay 3
Canada Geese 9
Downey Woodpecker 1
Mourning Dove 4
Red Wing Blackbird 4
Yellow Warbler 2