Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baker’s Meadow WBW

1. CANG-kab Canada Geese 11-9-11 Baker’s Meadow

We have had such lovely weather here in New England that I just cannot stay inside! So, on November 9th I decided to go exploring at one of the Andover Village Improvement Society or AVIS Sites that I had read about on the internet. The webpage claims that over 145 species of birds have been observed at Baker’s Meadow. I figured it was time for me to check this out for myself!
2. pathway in-kab Pathway between the houses

From the directions on the internet and by using my GPS I finally found Meadow View Lane and parked in the cul de sac. From there I followed this path down between the houses to the trail surrounding the pond.
3. Baker's meadow pond-kab View of the pond

The large pond opens out before me through the tall pines, maples and oak trees. I observe a lone fisherman casting from the bank. He and I are both content with the quiet and we each engage in our separate activities without a word. I find a spot along the edge of the pond and gaze out over the water. While I can see birds along the far shore I know I need to get closer in order to identify some of them, though the geese are quite easy from this distance with my binoculars. After evaluating my options I turn to the right and follow the trail though the woods…
4. brook-kab Baker’s Meadow Brook

…and over the brook with its spillway..
5. spillway-kab Baker’s Meadow Spillway

6. bridge-kab “Bridge” across the spillway

…and a makeshift bridge!

7. woodland-kab Quiet Waters

Quiet waters gather in the cove by the spillway but on the other side the water tumbles with noisy abandon. Late autumn sun still warms the air around me. the path beneath my feet is soft with pine needles a rotting leaves. I step gingerly over tree roots and wind my way around tree trunks where moss grows green and vibrant along the ground. I make my way off the path through the underbrush to the pond’s edge where I can get a better view of the open water and the birds.
8. reflections-kab Autumn splendor at the pond 11-9-11

I soon find myself close enough to photograph a pair of Canada Geese. They watch me warily trying to decide if it is safe for them to stay or if they should take flight. But I move slowly and keep my distance and soon they relax while keeping one eye on me.
9. MUSW-kab Mute Swan 11-9-11 Baker’s Meadow Pond

As I am watching the geese a Mute Swan comes paddling by around the bend of the next cove. With the autumn colors reflecting in the water affording me a perfect view. I am starting to feel the magic of this place. I am reveling in the quiet.
10. reflections-kab Baker’s Meadow Pond

The swan was one of 3 I saw on the pond this day, but far across the water other birds gather. I can tell they are diving ducks by their behavior and am soon able to make out the black heads and necks of Ring-necked ducks with their black backs and the white spur onto their shoulders which helps in identifying them from a distance. A few mallards float nearby, the males with their glossy green heads and necks, the females drab but subtle in their beauty. In front of the ring-necks a lone Pied-billed grebe floats, then dives. While I can see there are a few shorebirds of some sort on the spit of mud the geese are gathered on, they are too far away from me. With the low angle of the sunlight reflecting off of their bodies it makes it difficult to see any kind of field marks. I try photographing them and enlarging the shots but they are little more than white blurs on the screen.
11. shoreline-kab Forest Surrounding the pond

While I do not hear or see many woodland birds beyond a Downy Woodpecker and a chickadee, this was certainly worth the trip to Baker’s Meadow for me. The Ring-necked Ducks and the pied-billed grebe were first my sightings of these species in Massachusetts.
12. looking up-kab Looking up!

13. water view-kab Looking down!

14. woodland reflected-kab Forest Reflection

I probably would have lingered here longer but soon other hikers came along, almost all of them with dogs off leashes with almost all of them rushing up to smell me. Some of them were barking and one was even growling. Golden Retrievers must be the official dog of Andover because I swear everyone had one. I met one group of women with 4 or 5 of them romping around! Yes, all off leash. I like dogs, but not when I am birding! I think I counted more golden retrievers than bird species in the woods on this day! (15 dogs, 9 species of birds!)
15. sunset-kab Sunset through the pines

Still, this is such a pretty place. I will come back again (I hope!) and see if I can find more of the 145 species purported to be here!
16. path up-kab Path back up to Meadow View Lane in Andover, MA


Birds Seen at Baker’s Meadow November 9, 2011:
  1. Canada Goose
  2. Mute Swan
  3. Ring-necked duck
  4. Mallard
  5. Pied-billed Grebe
  6. Downy woodpecker
  7. American Crow
  8. Black-capped chickadee
  9. peeps

17. geese-kab


  1. Beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving Kathie!

  2. Wow, Kathie! The reflections shots are spectacular! Wish you knew about this place when I was there!

  3. So great to see New England color! Great images and adventure, Kathie! Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Hi Kathie

    Beautiful fall colour and the first shot with the geese was magic.


  5. I'll echo the other comments: wonderful photos and beautiful New England fall colors. Thanks for these -- and Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Hi Kathie, your photos are just stunning. The Autumn colors are gorgeous. I hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Magnificent autumn colors and the Swan and Geese with the colors on the water are very special.

  8. Yeah I don't know how you could have stayed inside! The colors to you captured in the brilliant first picture of the Canada Geese are pretty stunning. It must be absolute bliss to have such beautiful surroundings this time of year. Any birds that come through must be a sweet bonus to the natural abundance.

    Thanks very much for sharing.

  9. Gorgeous colors and lighting, Kathie! Wow! Great job! I wish our colors had been that brilliant this fall.

  10. And yet another little slice of nature. Those fall colors just jump off the screen. Bummer about the dogs.

  11. Fantastic autumn colours Kathie.
    It does look a great place to explore.

  12. You have a wonderful eye, Kathie. Beautiful images, beautiful fall colors. The leaves in your area seem to hang on a lot longer than here in VT. But I imagine you woke up to sleet and snow this morning, too :-( Glad I don't have to travel anywhere this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. ...so much for bird watching with all the barking dogs!

    well...the shots you took of the geese...swans...are beautiful, and the reflection pictures and the autumn colors are ALL so breath taking!!!! wow!!! i LOVED it even if we didn't get to see SO MANY birds!!

    gobble gobble!

  14. Beautiful images Kathie you have so much colour in your landscape..
    And of course some beautiful wildlife.

  15. We are so much further into winter than you. Good post Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  16. Wow! These are spectacular shots full of glorious autumn color and water birds!

  17. Kathy -- you have a beautiful blog ! I am so glad to find you. These pictures, birds and scenery are incredible. We are on the road right now and it is hard to find time to read, but when we get back to Florida (where we spend the Winter) I will come back and read more of this and your other blogs.

    It is interesting that you moved from AZ east (a little different from most people we meet -- everybody goes to the sunbelt states). I look forward to learning more when i come back. Thanks for visiting FT-L!!

  18. Incredible post Kathie. How in the world did you still have color like that on 11/9? That is amazing. Isn't it great to walk out of the woods and onto a new pond? The sense of anticipation is wonderful. I can not believe the color in that water either. Beautiful story...Gorgeous pictures...doesn't get any better than this.

  19. Even more beautiful scenery Kathie, very mellow!

  20. Very beautiful place! I'll look forward to seeing more birds from there.


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.