Birding at Magazine Beach

13 May

IMG_E6503If you’re a bird watcher or just bird-curious, head over to Magazine Beach Park. Surprising numbers of birds use the park as a pit-stop on their long journey north, while others settle down and raise a family or two. 

This spring has been especially birdy at the park. Regulars include Canada Geese, Mallards, Double-crested Cormorants, Downy Woodpecker, American Robin, Gray Catbirds, Northern Mockingbirds, Brown-headed Cowbird, American Goldfinch, and House Finch. You can also find favorites like Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Kingbird, noisy Warbling Vireo, Eastern Phoebe, and Baltimore Orioles. Tree Swallows skim the water feeding on mosquitoes. A killdeer, snipe or sandpiper might pop in along the shore or explore a muddy spot. And Red-Wing Blackbirds will puff out their scarlet epaulets, if you get too close to a nest.

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American Redstart in the swale

This spring’s visiting warblers have included American Redstart, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Black-and-White, Nashville, Northern Parula, and the Common Yellowthroat. The wet swale near the soccer field is home to a couple of foraging Wilson’s Warblers (as well as Blue Gray gnat-catchers). Black-throated Green Warblers, can sometimes be found at the top of the cottonwoods. Most of the warblers will be gone after Memorial Day, although we might get a few nesting Yellow Warblers hanging around for the summer.

Along the river, Black-Crowned Night Heron and Great Blue Herron patrol for frogs and fish. An osprey has become a frequent flier, hunting near the BU Bridge, and there’s a Peregrine Falcon family growing up fast on top of the tall buildings across the river. They’ll soon be hunting pigeons in the park.

The stars of the park this year have been a brilliant Indigo Bunting and a Bald Eagle that has been spotted a few times flying up and down the river.

Still to come? I’m still hoping a least or willow flycatcher will show up soon. They’re alway late to the party. 

–Mari Badger

(Mari led a bird walk at the park this morning and will lead another on Sunday, May 19 @ 6:30am. Meet at the Powder Magazine.)

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