Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Birding at the Bog (MWT)

DSC_0002Since moving here to Andover I have signed up with eBird to do a Site Survey of the bog neat my apartment. So, to the best of my ability, I walk to the bog at least once a week and count the bird species I have seen there. Since moving here and starting the survey I have counted  species of birds at the bog. It’s a bit tougher to do, now that winter has come and the snow has fallen. As you can see from the picture, a wall of snow cuts me off from the bog. I used to duck between these pines for a wide open view of the bog.


Now I peek between the branches and over the wall of snow. But all is quiet at the bog these days. Where I used to see up to 15 species of birds, I am now lucky to see 5 or 6.  On my most recent count on January 20th I only saw 3 species of birds.







The cattails are dry and brown. The water in the bog is all frozen and snow covered. These condos across the bog used to be hidden by the leaves on the trees. Now they are open and exposed like the naked trees around them.


Shadows lie long and blue across the unbroken snow…


grasses poke through like golden threads on white silk linens…


and jagged stumps appear as the broken teeth of some submerged monster!


It is a skeletal landscape to me. I cannot keep from comparing it to bones, yet how serene it is, here in the midst of the neighborhood.


The Blue Jay is the most common and numerous bird I see here nowadays, but often I see or hear a red-tailed hawk who seems to hunt this space on a regular basis. Other than that it is mostly occupied by sparrows…

DSC_0019 …and juncos hiding in the twining brush.

Birds seen at the Stirling Street Bog to date:

  1. Red-tailed Hawk 9-30-10*
  2. Yellow-rumped warbler
  3. Eastern Bluebird
  4. Downy Woodpecker
  5. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  6. Palm Warbler
  7. Blue Jay
  8. Northern Flicker
  9. American Crow
  10. Chipping Sparrow
  11. White-breasted Nuthatch
  12. Lincoln’s Sparrow
  13. Carolina Wren 10-13-10
  14. Canada Goose
  15. Black-capped Chickadee
  16. Tufted Titmouse
  17. American robin
  18. Dark-eyed Junco
  19. Northern Cardinal 10-25-10
  20. Cooper’s hawk
  21. House sparrow
  22. American goldfinch
  23. Mallard
  24. Mourning dove
  25. Song sparrow
  26. Common Grackle 11-2-10
  27. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  28. Green-winged Teal 11-12-10
  29. Northern Mockingbird
  30. American Black Duck 11-18-10
  31. Hairy Woodpecker 12-13-10
  32. American Tree Sparrow 12-22-10
  33. White-throated Sparrow 11-28-10 
  34. European Starling 1-1-11
  35. Herring Gull* 1-14-11
  36. Swamp Sparrow
  37. Ring-billed Gull 1-16-11

*Notes: Birds listed below Bold dates were seen on that same date.  I have seen gulls at the bog many times flying high overhead but only recently learned enough and had them fly low enough for me to feel like I could properly indentify the species.

My World Tuesday 



  1. A beautiful post Kathie, just a pity I could not get to see most of the pictures. It is either our dratted internet or blogger having a glitch.

    A pity it is so hard for you to surmount the heaped up snow banks.

    I do hope your neighbour is improving or moving away.
    Hugs and Blessings . . . Arija

  2. WHy is it that there's times during the day that ALL birds just disappear from the feeders? It always worries me, but less now that I know you don't always see an abundance of birds in their natural habitat.

  3. Maybe you should get some snowshoes & gators (maybe some snow pants too), then you can climb over the snow mound to get to the other side of the trees.....

  4. It certainly is a serene looking place. Yes skeletal, like approaching a cemetery. Yet I'll bet come spring the bog will be very much alive. Nice place to have in your neighborhood.

  5. I have found myself a patch to bird regularly during my lunch breaks down along the Jordan River. It is fun to watch the comings and goings at a select location. I'm only at 19 species right now.

    Back in Idaho at Avimor, I had over 120 species at my little patch.

  6. Hi Kathie. I have only seen 31 species on my local patch this year and it is currently also very quiet but I'm sure things will pick up once the snow disappears and the scenery changes once more. FAB.

  7. Arjia, you might try again. I had trouble posting this and some of the photos were a bit off but I have fixed it now. Thanks for stopping by.

    TS Annie, the birds all have feeding patterns. They wander about and seem to come to the feeders at certain times of the day, then disappear. I find it odd here in MA that on stormy days I will have less birds but on sunny days I will have more, which is opposite of how it was in AZ. The rain and clouds tend to keep them down here but I have noticed that snow and deep cold bring them in!

    Katnell, that is a thought! By why spend the money if we are not going to stay...

    Gaelyn, I believe you are correct because one of the first times I visited here was at the end of fall migration and there were so many birds I didn't know where to look first. I know there were some warblers I could not I.D.!

    Birding is Fun, How exciting to have a patch to monitor! I will have to look it up on eBird! I am sure as the year progresses the number of species you see will climb! You will have to keep us posted of what you are seeing!

    Early Birder, you are so right! I have a lot to look forward to!

  8. Beautiful photos and a great hobby to get involved in...If I was doing something like that, I'd sure learn a lot more about birds :-)

  9. Make no bones about it-you'll be seeing lots of birds there come Spring.I enjoyed the post Kathie.

  10. Great Bog photos! Hey one of your photos slipped a disc:)


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.