Monday, March 7, 2016

a visit to the North River

Downy Woodpecker in flight

Stopped by the North River Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary today. Despite the clouds, there were still birds about, some of them quite vocal.

house finches having a mid-afternoon snack at the Audubon welcome center

Near the entrance, that isn't much of a surprise, given the number of feeders they have there! Several kinds of birds made an appearance.

You can almost always count on the chickadees to be around and to be heard before they're seen. Friendly little things! There were juncos, starlings, mourning doves, tufted titmice, mourning doves, red-winged blackbirds, and others in that first area. Just the entrance alone would have been worth the visit.  Had it been sunny, the photography opportunities would have been quite something.

Nuthatch hopping down the tree trunk
After a walk through the field and woods, I finally arrived at the river, hoping to see some interesting ducks.

out on the river overlook via the boardwalk

North River near the outlet, low tide

 I could see Buffleheads way across on the other side along with gulls.

 Once I pulled out the binoculars my sister gave me for Christmas (Thank you, Liz!), I could see and enjoy the group of harbor seals napping on the far side despite the lack of sun. There were occasional brief bursts of sunlight, so I did manage to get a picture, such as it is.

Eventually a Common Goldeneye couple ventured within range. 

Common Goldeneye couple - female and male - composite picture

It took me a minute to identify the female - I haven't seen any for a while and had forgotten what they look like. Delighted to see some! I'd have loved for them to come closer... maybe next time.  They clearly don't realize that their fan club awaits.

I love this red building. I always look at it and say to myself that I must find out what it is and if I can get there to see the view. The color is lovely in the summer in the sun, in the fall against the golds and browns, and in the winter against the snow; in this rather drab season, it's a welcome spot of color.

ring-billed gull out for a stroll along the river's edge

song sparrow peeking through the tall, dry grass - they really are quite well camouflaged!

Lots of song sparrows were in the tall grass. They were venturing out to peck at the straw on the ground. I never did figure out if they were looking for bugs or if it is already nest-building season and they were searching for materials. Anyone?

After a while, a lump on a raft raised itself up a bit, and lo and behold, another seal, closer yet!

very cute harbor seal on raft near North River Bridge (MA 3A)

well, hello!

I decided I could see him (her?) better from the bridge, and it was getting to be time to go in any case, so I meandered out of the wildlife sanctuary, encountering a large flock of robins on the way. 


supervising the flock

From the North River, I could see the adorable harbor seal much better.

Am I cute, or what?

Life is good.

Last, but not least, a loon made its appearance, swimming towards the bridge, stopping to dive for and enjoy a crab, and then swimming right under. Now there's a bird that appreciates birding nuns. Many thanks, Loon.

Common Loon


And thank you, Lord, for a good afternoon out.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful place! And a stunning diversity of birds - wow!