May 28, 2012

White Pond Heron Rookery Walks

Concord's White Pond heron rookery lies nestled between glacial ridges in an old red maple swamp.  As you stand on the shoreline of a narrow peninsula, overlooking an expanse of green highlighted by dead gray trees, this wetland feels otherworldly.  The air is filled with the squawking of young herons, the drone of bullfrogs, bluebird warbles, and woodpecker chatter.  Pileated woodpeckers nest here and great-crested flycatchers, yellow warblers, swamp and song sparrows, kingfishers, and red-bellied and downy woodpeckers are often active within view.  Our walk will take us through a large open sandpit with views of bank swallow nests and other surprises, then down a wooded glacial slope to the White Pond drainage basin and out to the swamp.

Long pants, shoes, and socks are strongly recommended.

Two walk dates are being offered:
Friday, June 8, 10-11:30 a.m., or
Sunday, June 10, 3-4:30 p.m.
Open to ages, 6 yr - adult

Meeting place directions will be sent upon registration.  

Fee:  $12/$12.50 online (14 yr - adult), $6/$6.25 online (6-13 yr)

Participation limited, so please register early.  Registration deadline is June 6
Pay online below via credit card or PayPal or send checks to Cherrie Corey, 277 Old Bedford Road, Concord, MA  01742

If you have questions, email me at or call 978-760-1933 and leave me a message.

Please note, the Shopping Cart mistakenly lists the dates as 5/8 and 5/10.  Your registrations will be applied to June 8 and 10 as described above.

Heron Rookery Walk Registration, 6/8/12

Heron Rookery Walk Registration, 6/10/12

May 12, 2012

Spring Rite - Concord's Annual Bird Walk

Birdwatcher's enjoying the view in Peggy Brace's yard
Concord's Annual Bird Walk has been a spring tradition for many decades.  Today we gathered in the chill morning air with our master of ceremonies Peter Alden -- prepared to meet the dawn chorus with eager ears and binoculars at the ready.

At her invitation, we stopped first to visit Peggy Brace to share in her delightful backyard menagerie of bird houses and hatchlings.  For many years, Peggy has hosted wonderful post-walk breakfasts along with her husband Bill, who sadly passed away just a week ago.

Peggy opens one of her many bluebird houses, while the returning
mother bird waits patiently in a nearby tree.

Day old bluebird hatchling with two siblings still in shell

Between the Brace's yardbirds and forays into the Estabrook Woods, from both the east and west entrances, an impressive array of spring birds were seen and heard.  Some notables included scarlet tanagers, an indigo bunting, a flock of rose-breasted grosbeaks, redstarts, black-billed cuckoo, a pileated woodpecker, kingbirds and a great crested flycatcher, wood thrushes, oven birds, a great-blue heron and numerous returning and migrating warblers (black-throated greens and blues, parula, chestnut-sided, blue winged, black-and-white, yellow rumped, magnolia, yellow, yellowthroat), bluebird and chickadee babies, and many more.

An exquisite day to share in the wildness of this place!

Dew diamonds

May 7, 2012

Two Monthly Great Meadows Walks - May!

A continuing series of monthly walks exploring the landscape, plants, and seasonal wonders of Great Meadows NWR in Concord. 

Friday, May 11, 6:30-8 pm
Saturday, May 19, 9:30-11:15 am  

With spring blooms and wildlife activity unfolding at a breathless pace this year, I'm offering two walks this May to help us keep up with it all and to highlight the special qualities of light, sound, and seasonal rhythms at either end of the day.  Come delight in the delicacy of spring blooms, duckling flotillas and gosling parades, singing warblers, the frenzy of mating fish, basking snakes and turtles, and a chorus of spring birds.  Bring binoculars and cameras, if you have them.

Led by Cherrie Corey, local naturalist and photographer

No pre-registration required.  A $5/person voluntary donation will be gratefully accepted.

Co-sponsored by Musketaquid Arts and Environment Program and Friends of the Assabet River NWR

Meet at Great Meadows NWR in Concord, MA  (Monsen Road, off Rte. 62, driveway on left where road curves right.  Drive to parking lot at the end.)

For questions, email or call 978-760-1933.

May 1, 2012

Bird Songs and Sonagrams Website

Marsh Wren singing at Great Meadows NWR
Just in time for the spring migration wave - thanks to David Swain for alerting us to this great website for bird song and sonagram recordings and comparisons for eastern North America,  This comprehensive resource was put together by Peter Driver and includes the calls, songs, and nocturnal calls of many birds.  The site also includes recordings of some British birds, links to other bird sounds audio sites, a small but useful selection of suburban wild animal sounds, and additional resource links.