Towards the northern end of the Arboretum is a modest-sized field that has suffered quite a few indignities in recent years but was left a few years ago in the hope that Bobolinks might return to it (they used to nest there). Well, they have indeed prospected the field in the spring but on the whole the grasses etc are too long for their more ‘grazed prairie” requirements although plenty of other creatures seem to be finding it quite to their liking and we are finding ourselves spending a lot of time around it watching who and what is living there … if nothing else, it is a spectacular butterfly nursery.
Late this morning, with rain drops starting to increase in frequency and a big storm promised any moment we paused by a solitary tree on the edge of the field alongside the main (orange) trail and realised that we had happened upon a bird condominium. In this one tree (picture below), or within no more than ten feet of it, we rapidly ticked off eight species of rather nice birds and a very active Chipmunk. Residents of the condo and it’s immediate vicinity were:
- Scarlet Tanager (female and juvenile) – later they flew off and we realised there were actually three birds, presumably two juveniles and mum
- Black-capped Chickadee (ticked off that we were not holding out hands-full of seeds)
- Song Sparrows (several)
- Savannah Sparrows (two)
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
- Common Yellowthroats (again, a goodly number)
- Indigo Bunting
- Red-winged Blackbirds
This is developing into an interesting bit of habitat – worth stopping at this time of year to enjoy the activity … neat butterflies too.