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Early Spring Birding in Concord | April 9th

"At the Great Meadows we were pleased to see Mute Swans and Canada Geese, a few Ring-necked Ducks, female Common Goldeneyes and Buffleheads. A Northern Harrier with its conspicuous white rump quartered over the cat-tails. Pileated Woodpeckers called from nearby woods."

Wood Duck in flight by Chuck Carney

By Peter Alden

Despite a rainy forecast, we managed to sneak in our walks between showers and never used umbrellas. We were fortunate to have Lillian Stokes as a co-leader. Lillian and her husband Donald Stokes have published over 30 books on U.S. birds and nature with sales over 6 million copies! (I have written over 15 books on U.S. and international birds and travel with over 3 million sold).


We gathered at my Concord riverside home and noted the spring songs and calls of a dozen species from Eastern Phoebes to the “old Sam Peabody” of the migrant White-throated Sparrows.


At the Great Meadows N.W.R. Concord unit, we were pleased to see and hear all three of our “Corvus” genus species: the small Fish Crow with its weak cah or ca-ha calls, standard American Crows with its louder Caw Caw calls and also a Common (Northern) Raven with its deep CROAK call. Pairs of colorful Wood Ducks were everywhere in the air, water and perched on nest boxes.


See the excellent photos taken by sparkbirding.com photographer Chuck Carney. In addition to the Mute Swans and Canada Geese, there were a few Ring-necked Ducks, female Common Goldeneyes and Buffleheads about. A Northern Harrier with its conspicuous white rump quartered over the cat-tails. Pileated Woodpeckers called from nearby woods.


Later in the morning, we trekked to a Barred Owl nest in South Acton. This eye level nest hole was used last year and at this time the owl was likely incubating eggs. It only raised its head briefly to check us out and then settled deeper into the hollow as expected. I urged several in our group to come back here in May when one or both parents are more visible with youngsters filling the nest.


Returning to my house, folks looked over several hundred surplus bird books that were offered free. Then the rains came! We had a fun morning.


Photo Gallery by Chuck Carney