Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer at the Swamp

1. Waterlilies-kab Water Lilies 7-5-11

Summer days are upon us now and if I go to the swamp in the morning I am sure to see the water lilies open to the sun. The birds of the swamp have settled into their summer routines. Some have already raised one brood of birds and are starting on the next. Each visit to the swamp has something in common with the last visit, yet something is always changing. There is always something new.

2. CarliseStreet 6-6-11-kab On my walk to the swamp I travel down shady streets lined with maples and oaks.


3. chipmunk 6-6-11-kab Often the chipmunks squeal and scamper out into the street before rushing off into yards or the surrounding woodlands.

4. pflower 6-6-11-kab I pass a few wildflowers as I go…

5. Flowering 6-6-11-kab …and manicured yards with blooms aplenty.

6. Swampview 4-27-11-kab The swamp that looked bare and cold in April…

7. Swampview 6-2-11-kab …is now bursting with growth and green.

8. goslings 6-2-11-kab On June 2, 2011 I found this family of geese close enough to photograph with my Nikon Coolpix.

9. MODO 6-6-11-kab I am amazed at how much the mourning doves like the swamp. I see them here more now than I do at my feeders!

10. EAKI-kab I was so pleased when the Eastern Kingbirds showed up at the swamp.

11. EAKI 2-kabThere is a whole family of them there now and I love to watch their aerial displays as they catch insects over the swamp. I counted them here for the first time on May 3rd of this year. However this photo was taken on June 6th.

12. Flicker 6-6-11-kab The Northern (yellow-shafted) Flickers have returned as well.

13. flickernest-kab I saw the parents bring food to the chicks in the nest hole on June 6th and saw at least two little heads peeking out. However, on my last visit here on July 5th all the birds were gone.

14. CEWA-kab Cedar Waxwings also have put in a regular appearance at the swamp. Sometimes I hear them before I see them, but that just helps me find them easier!

15. cattails-kab The cattails are growing green and lush along the perimeter of the swamp. I have yet to see a marsh wren here however, or a common yellowthroat. I heard a common yellowthroat on June 24th from far across the bog but that is the only time and I have not heard one since. I have not seen any other warblers here though I have listened and looked.

16. BCCH 7-5-11-kab Chickadees are regular visitors. This one was a youngster I think as it tried weakly to sing the chickadee song. (7-5-11)

17. dragonfly-kab There are a fair share of dragonflies around. I was lucky to have this one land nearby where I could easily see and photograph it.

18. flowers 7-5-11-kab This sunny flower is growing along the bank of the swamp on the west side.

19. juv RWBL 7-5-11-kab Juvenile Red-winged Blackbird twisting to groom itself.

20. SOSP-kab What’s better than a Song Sparrow singing on a sunny summer’s day!

21. Swampview 7-4-11-kab This is a view of the Swamp on July 4th in the evening as a thunderstorm passed by. While I stood on the edge watching birds I heard thunder, saw lighting flash, and felt the wind wild on the water, but no rain drops fell. It felt wonderful. If you compare this photo to the one in the previous post you will see the willow tree is now a soft pale green and all the rest of the vegetation has grown so thick that the apartments on the opposite show are all but obscured from view.

While I am amazed at all the birds I have seen at the bog I am also surprised by what I have not seen. I have not seen any warblers, kingfishers, empids, or wrens other than the Carolina in the winter and early spring. The muskrats seem to have disappeared. I have not see them in over two months. There are not many ducks or geese here nowadays. I found one lone goose when I counted birds in Den Rock Park on July 5th which lies at the north end of the swamp. I did not see any from my vantage point on the west side of the swamp. Blue and green herons show up sporadically but I have yet to get a decent photograph of one here. The green herons are particularly shy and are often at the more distant points out in the swamp. I hope to post an updated list of birds seen at the swamp within the next few days either in a post or as a list in the sidebar. As long as I live here you will find me going back to the swamp to count birds.

And that’s…My World Tuesday!


  1. Your world is a wonderful source for birds. I wish I had something like it here. The surrounds of our dam and dry creek have very predictable birds.

    Kathie, that wildflower is St.John's Wort and is prized by dye makers. It is a perennial and toxic to stock.

    Love the dragonfly, it looks like a bi-plane from WWII.
    Your Eastern Kingbird is quite a catch.

    Have a great week birding!

  2. It's so spectacular to watch the same place through the seasons. From the soggy winter to the now lush summer you must have counted 100 birds here. Plus numerous other wildlife. I love it!

  3. Arija, so sorry I have been absent for so long! So wonderful of you to keep coming back! Thanks for the info on the flower. I am assuming you mean the yellow one. I was wondering what it was and I tried to google it but no luck! You are so amazing!

    Gaelyn, believe it or not, I am only up to 56 species seen here so far. I saw some kind of sandpiper or peep there today. There were 3 of them but they were far across the swamp and back-lit by the rising sun, so no ID as to what they were! I keep on counting though! I suspect when August and September roll around i will add to my totals but I need to learn more of the warblers!

  4. Hi Kathie. Well at long last I'm catching up with the visits to your local swamp. Interesting to see the changes through the year .. I'm sure the count will increase with fall migration.

    I don't have much knowledge of Odanata in MA but your sighting might be a Twelve-spotted Skimmer.
    See pics here:

    BTW I saw my first and only wader (a Common Sandpiper) on my patch this week after many years of wandering around the pond so you never know what might turn up.

    Have a glorious weekend.
    Cheers FAB.

  5. Lovely post Kathie. Tou'll soon build up that list.....

  6. I love Eastern Kingbirds too.They are cool to watch in flight.

  7. Frank, thanks for the help with the Odonata. I'll keep my eyes open for some more waders. I did see 3 "peeps" one day but they were far across the swamp and flew straight towards me but with the light behind them so I was at a loss to identifying them!

    Tony, I am working on it! It is up to 57 species now! I know I have seen more species but I have not be able to ID them all.

    Larry, they sure are! I like to see the family all together.


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.