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Arcadia is Wild!!!

Bluebirds moving into their new digs...

I have been visiting Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary for the past couple of weeks and wanted to share some of the incredible scenes!  If you get a chance take a drive to the sanctuary and witness spring at its most wild! (remember click on any image to enlarge it)  And while you’re at it, stop by the headquarters and join Mass Audubon!  They do such important work and your membership will help!
Vernal Pools are just singing with life.  When the wood frogs go to the vernal pools, you know its spring in New England:

httpv://youtu.be/s5I7i8Y1J_Q
httpv://youtu.be/wEXunAh9XFc

A wood frog glow
The beginning of life of a salamander.

Then there is the great blue heron rookery.  I can watch these characters all day, squawking, preening, chasing each other, and of course showing off for their potential mates:

httpv://youtu.be/sQ3EAmYuK4A

A tree blooming great blue herons!

A present of a leaf.

And then of course, there is the pair of bald eagles.  Once again preparing the nest:
httpv://youtu.be/5mLX8tD4XT4

Way high up!
Stretching its wings...
Keeping an eye on everything...

Station Road in Amherst is Hopping!

Hey Everyone,
Just got back from a nice (but chilly) birding walk with my friend Ann.  Birding is a lot like fishing, 90% of the fun is the company you take with.  Well today was no exception but we did see loads of birds that might have brought the percentage down a bit!  Some are back from their winter haunts:  King Birds, phoebes, palm warblers, the great blue heron, even a first for me, a green winged teal!  As always, you can click on the image to make it bigger.

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler
Great Blue Heron
Another shot of the huge Great Blue we saw
Green winged teal
Another shot of the green winged teal

Spring is just around the Corner

Red-breasted merg

Well, here in Western Massachusetts, we’re seeing a couple of turkey vultures and the snow is just about gone. But it still feels like winter out there!  I took a trip to Cape Cod last weekend to attend the Cape Cod Natural History Conference sponsored by Wellfleet Mass Audubon at the four C’s.  I then took a morning to track down some early migrants!  Here is a red breasted merganser:

some buffleheads:

A male bufflehead
A bufflehead pair

and a first for me a white winged scooter,  I love the eyes!

A white winged scooter
A group of white winged scooters

I wasn’t able to see any right whales off Race Point but rumor has it they have returned!  Stay tuned as spring starts to heat up!

Kestrel’s Celebration of The Mineral Hills

Hello Everyone,
Well I’m finally back from the Cape.  What a wild time I had being a guide for Art’s Dune Tours, all summer!  Well the first video I want to share with you is Kestrel’s Celebration of the Mineral Hills, which was held at The Mineral Hills Winery at Godard’s Red Hen Farm.  The company was great, the food was delicious and the wine was tasty!
If you get a chance, visit the Winery at 592 Sylvester Road in Florence.  Thanks to Kestrel, The City of Northampton and all the Contributors and Volunteers who made the preservation possible. Remember the 5K for Farmland and Farmers Market Festival next Sunday, October 21st at 10am.  For more info go to Kestreltrust.org.

Take a look at the Mineral Hills festivities:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAkBbKMpxeE

Rachel the Bald Eagle Chick!

It sounds like the eagle chick may have hatched earlier than I thought. Patti Steinman, nature educator extraordinaire, thinks the chicklet may have hatched on the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring ( http://www.rachelcarson.org/ )!  I suggest we name the new addition to the nursery Rachel, after Rachel Carson!
Furthermore, I know that we have global warming and habitat loss to contend with but I think someone should write a book called Loud Spring, honoring all the incredible things that have happened in conservation since Rachel wrote her world-changing book.  I don’t know about you but spring this year was a cacophony of frogs, toads, and birds.  Way to go, both Rachels!

Earth Day Baby: The Eagle Chick has Hatched!

It is confirmed, the bald eagles have hatched a chick.  Probably on the Saturday or Sunday around Earth Day.  Spectacular!  They’ve been feeding it and it finally lifted its head above the crest of the nest.  What a cutie!  The female has been staying on the nest with the male bringing in food.  However, at one point, after delivering fresh fish to the nest, the father flew to a nearby tree and then so too did the mother.  The chick was a bit disconcerted but it seems they’re preparing the little one to be left a lone on occasion.  What a great morning I had, watching the baby chick, the herons, and the other denizens of the wetland.  I even had a muskrat scoot by!  Coming up this week, some video of the herons, but first, here’s some video of the chicklet:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94qw0lMAIKw

click on pics to enlarge:

Bald Eagles May have a Chick!?

Well, everyone has been waiting to see if the eggs our new bald eagle couple laid were viable.  If they were, the eggs were to have hatched this past weekend, around Earth Day.  The couples behavior may be signaling that an egg may have hatched.  The couple have been hanging out together on the nest and bringing food to the nest as well.  We’ll see as time goes on (click on the image to increase size).  Video forthcoming.