When I first moved to Andover in September of 2010 I was delighted to find this bog on a back road in my neighborhood. Since leaving my home in Sycamore Canyon in Tucson, which I had already established as an eBird Site Survey, I knew I wanted to start a new survey in my new location. When I found this bog so close to my home I felt I had landed on my feet! I started counting birds at this location that very first autumn and have managed to count birds there at least once a week in the two years since. I have only missed two weeks in that whole time, one of which is the first week of August, which I will knock off tomorrow when I do a bird count there this year. The other week is the first week of September, and I will be back in Tucson by then. That will be the only week that is missing data in the eBird Bar Charts.
Last year when I was out counting birds here at the bog I meant a woman named Susan who was doing a program through Massachusetts Audubon to earn herself a certificate. We chatted about birds and I told her of my bird counts and my blog. she asked if she could use some of my data to assist her in tracking bird populations here at the bog. I told her yes. This year she contacted me again and we go together. I was delighted to find out that she not only used my data to compile a bird guide to Den Rock Park for mass Audubon, but she is also hoping to get that guide published as a paperback book that will be available to the public! You cannot imagine how thrilled I am to think that all my bird counting is paying off to help educate others about birds and birding!
So, this year I finally suggested the Stirling Bog as a birding Hotspot to eBird. Apparently it was accepted because if you log into eBird now you can find it on the map as an eBird Hot Spot! Just click on the red balloon to pinpoint your location and the name pops up! It also means that this location is now listed on their Bird Log app making it even easier for you to count birds here! This also means that even if you are not an eBird participant, you can go to eBird, click on the Explore Data tab, then click on Bar Charts, then scroll down through the states to find Massachusetts. Once you have highlighted the state, you click on the button for Hot Spots. From there you press “Continue,” then find Stirling Bog in the list. Click the box next to the name and click “Continue” again. The database will then bring up the bar charts for this location and you will be able to see all the species seen in this location as well as the frequency and time of year that they occur here! In other words, now all this data is accessible to anyone who wants to view it! This bog has been my comfort and solace through the two years I have lived here. It has brought me much joy and filled my life with calm. Whenever I needed a nature break it was so close by. Now that it is an eBird Hotspot I hope more of you will stop by and continue the count of bird species at the Stirling Street Bog! I would love to see the data for this location continue to grow!
Below are just a few of the photos I have taken through the seasons here at the bog. A post with the birds of the bog will soon follow! Enjoy!
Stirling Bog can be accessed from off of Stirling Street in Andover, Massachusetts, but you can also access the bog from Den Rock Park across from Market Basket in North Andover/Lawrence on Route 114. Click on the links below for additional information.
Update August 1, 2012: I counted birds at the bog tonight for 35 minutes and saw a pair of sweet little House Wrens climbing around a dead snag. When I entered that count into eBird I discovered that I had never seen that species in this location before! So, that makes House Wren species number 71 for the bog!
Follow me to see the Birds of the Bog