Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Urban Birding

I'm always amazed at who I'll roosting in my neighborhood. Today, for example, I saw two peregrines (actually pretty common now) hanging around Somerville High School. Also found a peregrine nest behind a pink house on Walnut Street. (Thought it was an awfully big squirrel nest way high up in a tree.)

Early last week, in addition to the normal mockingbirds, jays and starlings, I saw something very odd and that took me a minute or two to place, given its context. It appears as though we now have a pileated woodpecker in the 'hood! Often, now, I hear the characteristic KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the way to work.

Over the weekend, Hal and I took a walk around part of the Mystic River Reservation where we saw all manner of gulls and pigeons (it is the city, after all), a flock of canadas, a couple of odd little buffleheady-wood ducky fellows mixed in with the mallards, two swans and a hawk with the reddest tail (looked like it was spray-painted)I've seen yet. We stopped and watched the swans preening for a good 20 minutes. The hawk circled by lower and lower, so we figured that it was either looking for pigeons or bunnies, both of which can be found in quantity there.

All this, and it's still wintertime, too. I really need to pick up a Sibley Guide sometime before Spring.

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