A wild turkey has been spotted around Harvard Square for at least a couple of years now. Probably the same bird making an appearance on Universal Hub back in 2012, it has also been written up in Spare Change News last year and the Boston Globe this year. The Harvard College Naturalists Club posted recently about a few sightings.
This turkey was not difficult to spot. I found her dawdling just outside Wadsworth House in Harvard Yard this week.
Last weekend, as we were birding around Leverett Pond, we noticed a lot of commotion among the birds. Gulls took to the air and Canada geese and mallards walked off the ice into open water, huddling together. Soon afterward, we spotted a large dark bird flying overhead, our first bald eagle sighting in Boston.
Today, we noticed something similar on our walk around Jamaica Pond. This time, we spotted the bald eagle first as it approached the Pond. Then, we noticed that all of the gulls on the Pond had taken off and were flying helter-skelter.
After a few cold, cloudy, rainy days, we took advantage of today’s brilliant sunshine to walk through the Arboretum. We spotted a Baltimore oriole nest in the Meadow hanging on a silver maple branch. A female oriole perched next to it and watched us.
We walked the Arboretum yesterday in search of spring activity. Despite the gray skies, birds were in spring mode. We were lucky enough to see our first warbler of the year, a palm warbler, near the beech collection on Bussey Hill. The warbler migration has begun!
American woodcocks, a bird we had never seen, had been spotted in the Fenway Victory Gardens. So, on this sunny spring day, we went looking for them. About 45 minutes into our walk, we saw one fly right by us and land in one of the garden plots. It paced back and forth, bobbing its breast up and down.
We have endured a colder-than-normal winter in Boston and so any sign of spring is much celebrated. On March 1, we counted over a hundred American robins near Meadow Road in the Arboretum. While the number might be unusual, robins in and of themselves are not a true sign of spring. Many overwinter in the area.
Today, however, we saw and heard our first male red-winged blackbirds. These birds are a more reliable indicator that winter is waning. Coincidentally, today was the nicest day we have had all year, with balmy temperatures and clear skies. The cold will soon return, but so will more of the red-winged blackbirds, and spring will win out. Continue reading →