Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sacred Heart Park Summer Birds

1. HOSP-kab House Sparrows in the hedgerow 7-31-12

In the past year Sacred Heart Park has become a favorite place for me to bird. I love the quiet Shawsheen River as it slips by, and the contrast of open field and river woodland. Since it is just a short walk from my house, I can get there easily on foot or by car. I often take my little dog there for her walk and bring my binoculars along as well, accomplishing two goals at once. Blossom never chases the birds and she is so small they don’t seem to mind her, but it is a bit awkward to try to hold her leash and hold my bins steady at the same time. Then I resort to the leash between the legs method so I can use both hands!

2. EAKI-kab Eastern Kingbird in tree over soccer field 7-3-12

Earlier this year I decided to add Sacred Heart Park as a location for an eBird Site Survey. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, they accepted my request to list it as an eBird Hotspot! At the beginning of spring I only had a list of 37 species for this location. Since making it a Site Survey and birding here on a regular basis that list has now grown to 57 species as of August 13th. That is when I saw a Ruby-throated hummingbird eating insects off the trees on the woodland path down to the river! Shortly thereafter I spotted an American Redstart in the tree canopy above! If you are ever in Andover, this is a sweet place to bird!

3. EAKI-kab Eastern Kingbird in flight


4. House wren-kab House Wren in deep shade on the woodland path 7-3-2012


5. cottontail-kab Eastern Cottontail in Soccer Field 7-31-12


6. House wren-kab House Wren on Fence Post 7-3-12

Birds Seen at Sacred Heart Park this Spring and Summer 2012:

  1. Canada Goose (seen year round)
  2. Mallard (seen year round)
  3. Wood Duck (fall and spring)
  4. Great Blue Heron 3-27-12
  5. Turkey Vulture 5-2-12*
  6. Red-tailed Hawk (seen year round)
  7. Cooper’s Hawk (seen year round)*
  8. Ring-billed Gull (seen year round)
  9. Herring gull (seen year round)
  10. Rock Pigeon (seen year round)
  11. Mourning Dove (seen year round)
  12. Ruby-throated hummingbird 8-13-12
  13. Chimney Swift 5-9-12
  14. Red-bellied woodpecker (seen year round)
  15. Downy Woodpecker (seen year round)
  16. Hairy woodpecker (seen year round)*
  17. Northern flicker (seen year round)
  18. Eastern Phoebe 3-22-12*
  19. Eastern Kingbird 6-21-12*
  20. American Crow (seen year round)
  21. Northern Rough-winged swallow 6-5-12*
  22. Tree Swallow 6-29-12*
  23. Barn Swallow 6-29-12*
  24. Blue Jay (seen year round)
  25. Black-capped chickadee (seen year round)
  26. Tufted Titmouse (seen year round)
  27. White-breasted Nuthatch (seen year round)
  28. Carolina Wren 7-31-2012
  29. House Wren 5-9-12*
  30. American Robin (seen year round)
  31. European Starling 3-27-12
  32. Cedar Waxwing 5-2-12
  33. American Redstart 5-12-12*
  34. Yellow Warbler 6-5-12*
  35. Palm Warbler 4-16-12*
  36. Wilson’s Warbler 5-14-12*
  37. Chipping Sparrow 4-17-12
  38. Savannah sparrow 4-16-12*
  39. Fox sparrow 3-30-12*
  40. Song sparrow (seen year round)
  41. White-throated Sparrow (last seen in May)
  42. Dark-eyed Junco (last seen in April)
  43. Northern Cardinal (seen year round)
  44. Rose-breasted Grosbeak 5-14-12*
  45. Red-winged Blackbird 3-27-12
  46. Common Grackle 3-13-12
  47. Brown-headed Cowbird 6-21-12*
  48. Baltimore oriole 5-6-12*
  49. House Finch (seen year round)
  50. American Goldfinch (seen year round)
  51. House Sparrow (seen year round)

*New this year

Note: These are the birds I recorded at the park just this spring and summer but over the course of the two years I have been here I have observed 57 species here at the park. Sacred Heart Park is the first place I ever counted birds in Andover, MA.


  1. Hi Kathie

    Blossom is a nice name, and I really liked the Kingbird picture.


  2. what a SACRED place! wow, 57 species!! the birds know it's sacred too! love the Kingbird...looks like he's sticking his neck out! and the 'take off' shot is great!!
    cute little HOPPER !!

  3. Lovely series, love the kingbird leaning over (or perhaps about to take flight) and that last one in silhoette especially.

  4. Charming Kathie. Park birding is a lot of fun, and for city dwellers, sometimes it's all you can get! They don't always have scenic appeal of a nature preserve, but the parks do combine lots of different habitats and there's always the chance for some nifty vagrant. The birds are usually a fair bit more visible at parks too.

    It looks like Sacred Heart is park birding at its prime, and a solid local patch for the evening excursion or morning meander : )

    Thanks for sharing


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.