Today was one of the nicest days of this new year in Boston: sunny and around 55 °F/12 °C. Even after our mid-winter thaw the last few days, Leverett Pond was mostly frozen and its banks covered in snow. The wood ducks I had seen early in the winter are still around.
We came across two large black beetles yesterday just off the path around Jamaica Pond. The beetles were possibly engaged in the act of mating. If so, the female beetle was much larger than the male and her orange belly was showing.
We saw a couple birds for the first time this spring on yesterday’s walk around Jamaica Pond. A spotted sandpiper was hopping along the banks, trying to keep its distance from us. When it flew away, it flew low over the water.
We also saw a yellow-rumped warbler. We could easily see the yellow patch under the wing but had to wait until the bird ruffled its feathers for us to see the namesake yellow patch on its back.
Jamaica Pond is finally ice-free! The wind coming off the water yesterday, however, did not feel like it. We took a walk as the sun set.
American coots were diving for vegetation and then squabbling once a coot was successful at obtaining some. It’s late in the year for the coots, which should leave for their summer breeding grounds in the Upper Midwest and Canada any day now.
A few hours after Boston got hit with two feet of snow, I went to Jamaica Pond to see how the birds were doing. While big chunks of the Pond were frozen, there was a large central area free of ice. All the water fowl had congregated near the northwestern shore. I saw Canada geese (Branta canadensis), American coots (Fulica americana), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), mute swans (Cygnus olor), ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis), and, surprisingly, a pair of pigeons (Columba livia).