Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birding My Way Home

1. AMRO-kab American Robin in the fountain 7-13-12

After our birding adventure at Colchester's Cohen Meadows Dawn and I went to Mom’s house for a visit and lunch. We barely pulled into the yard when we saw a robin in Mom’s backyard fountain.

2. Red squirrel-kab Red Squirrel by the barn in Mom’s yard 7-13-12

Then, to my utter surprise, we saw a red squirrel by the barn! While I have seen chipmunks, gray squirrels and groundhogs here before I have never seen a red squirrel in Mom’s yard. This little cutie kept jumping up and down off the old metal chair. It would grab a seed, eat it on the chair, then jump down for another seed!

3. Dawn-kab Dawn sitting by the fountain

After a visit with Mom in the backyard we ate lunch and then I packed up my dog and my car and brought Dawn back to her “Homey.” Then it was my turn to get on the road and head for home. Often when I travel I bird my way home on the return trip. I intended to stop at Owen Bell Park in Killingly, but was so absorbed in the book on CD I was listening to that I drove right past the exit! However, by the time I neared the Oxford, MA Exit off Route 395 both the dog and I needed a restroom break. As I drove towards the exit the highway crossed Lowes Pond. From the corner of my eye I saw two Mute Swans floating in the still water. I decided to take exit 4a (which is towards the pond) instead of 4b (which is where I normally get off to get gas and use the restrooms) so that I could drive behind the Home Depot and Market Basket grocery store to see if I could get a better look at the swans.

4. Lowes Pond-kab Lowes Pond with Route 395 in the background 7-13-12

Whenever I Bird My Way Home I often find new places to count birds this way. Today I hit the jackpot for as I drove behind the store I saw a Green Heron on a chain link fence surrounding a smaller retention pond. As I parked the car to let the dog out I saw an eastern phoebe. Mourning doves were resting on top of the street lights and barn swallows swooped overhead. Song sparrows sang from the pond edges and, as I walked the dog along a cliff-like retention wall goldfinches twittered and robins hopped along the grassy edge.

5. wood ducks-kab Below in the pond a family of wood ducks paddled away from me.

These are the birds I saw in 15 minutes at Lowes Pond in Oxford, MA:

    1. Mute Swan, 2
    2. Wood Duck, 6
    3. Green Heron, 1
    4. Mourning Dove, 2
    5. Eastern Phoebe, 1
    6. Blue Jay, 1
    7. American Crow, 1
    8. Barn Swallow, 2
    9. Black-capped Chickadee, 2
    10. Tufted Titmouse, 2
    11. American Robin, 1
    12. Cedar Waxwing, 6
    13. Red-winged Blackbird, 2
    14. American Goldfinch, 2

6. robin-kab What did you say?

With our upcoming move back to Tucson I suppose I will really be Birding My Way Home then for I will be driving across the country with my birding buddy and longtime friend, Kathryn Kelley of My Mountain Green from Utah. One of the best things about becoming a blogger and a birder are all the new people that I have met. When I moved here two years ago I did not get much chance to write about the birds I saw as we drove across the United States back then. Hopefully this time it will be a different story, but I think that no matters where I live, I will always be Birding My Way Home!


  1. Ha! That line of linear Wood Ducks is awesome, what a cool photograph!

    I'm really looking forward to your birding road trip, should be a blast for you and your readers!

    1. Laurence, I hope so. I just need to figure out how to blog my way across the country in real time. I have a new notebook but I may have to wait to post photos. We'll see. I am working on it!

  2. Love the red squirrel! Amazing little birding spot you found there at the pond. I agree that the wood duck photo is awesome!

    1. Carol, I am so glad that you and Laurence both like the wood duck photo. I wasn't sure it was good enough. Now I feel better about posting it. And I love finding hidden birding spots like this!

  3. Hi, Kathie
    Thanks for the robin photos, they're beautiful! I'm a backyard birdwatcher, too, and I usually see four or five robins at a time in my backyard here on Cape Ann. Last summer the robins built a nest near my deck and I got some good photos. Sorry to see you leave Mass., I hope you continue blogging from Arizona.
    Debbie Hudson

    1. Debbie, first let me say, welcome to my blog!
      What a pleasant surprise! Aren't robins wonderful! They fill us with such joy. I am glad to hear that you have a yard full of them. I am sure I have nests all around my yard but none near my house when I can see them. It is a bit hard to leave Massachusetts. I have liked it here more than I thought I would. And don't worry about me, I will keep on blogging my way home and beyond! I would be so pleased to have you follow along!

  4. This sounds like a wonderful trek back. Your shots are great...the red squirrel with the red barn...beautiful. There was supposedly a Green Heron at Sweetwater last week, but I could not locate:) I look forward to your return trek and the birding adventures that I'm sure will follow:)

    1. Rohrerbot, I hope it will be fun. I hope to add bird counts in places where there are few to none. I know I can count birds in parking lots and rest areas. Perhaps we will even have time to stop at a park or wildlife area long the way. We will see. I hope to post at least some of the story as I go but I may have to wait to post pictures 'til later. We will see. So nice to have your encouragement and enthusiasm!

  5. Love your photo of the ducks; you are very gifted with the camera

  6. Squirrel and Robin cute but the line of Wood Ducks is really great.

  7. A most enjoyable birding trip back home. The photographs you have selected for this wonderful post are quite beautiful. Love the sweet family of Wood Ducks!


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.