Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall in Massachusetts - Sunday afternoon

(guess who tried to add another picture to the previous posting, hence the format issues - in the end I again couldn't add the picture as the formatting was much worse than it is now)

Sunday afternoon and our final destination for the weekend, Broad Meadow Brook, again another Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary. As we got closer we were worried we had the wrong address as we were in the middle of the city of Worcester, or so it seemed. In fact you pull up to a fairly non-descript building and small car park, but out the back, it's like walking through a tardis. Basically the road is a single line of housing backing up onto woodland and a huge river valley beyond Worcester itself. So within five minutes you've escaped the city and are in a really very pleasant spot. Again Yellow-rumped Warblers were everywhere:

And here:

Also in the woodland, Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees and Kinglets, etc. However my guess is in Spring the place will be absolutely teeming with breeding birds and much more 'alive'. Beyond the woodland there's a river side walk which is excellent. We spotted some unusual plants:

The berries are a rich velvety-red colour. Whilst walking along the river bank, we spotted a couple of birds circling low in the sky. If, like us, you've never seen a vulture before and can't make out the head and neck it can take some while to identify them, once you can make out the head however it's very straightforward. These shots are of one each of a pair of Turkey Vultures that soared overhead:

This one is lightened to bring some more detail out:

The Turkey Vultures were joined by a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk:

We got neck ache watching them and were surprised that most folk using the Sanctuary were clearly just out for a walk and so oblivious to the marvellous spectacle we were witnessing. Playing amongst the reed alongside the river, I think this is a Song Sparrow:

I thought at first this might have been an Ovenbird, turns out to be a Hermit Thrush, Auduboni:

The foliage is stunning. The reserves are much quieter than their equivalents in the UK so you really can get some personal space and time to experience the nature of the area, and it's all very accessible from Boston itself. We had a fantastic weekend. I have my fingers crossed for a weekend in Massachusetts in May next year. The last bird of note on a weekend of birding in Fall in Massachusetts, a Green Heron, stood proud on its own outcrop, feeding on passing fish and other invertebrates:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a lovely summary of your visit and great photographs thanks so much for taking the time to share your images and comments. I work at the sanctuary and you made my day!

7:41 am  

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