This spring, I visited several wildlife sanctuaries on the North Shore of Massachusetts looking for migrating spring birds. I have only been birding for 2-3 years, but it is such a fun hobby and honestly, I’m kind of obsessed with it. You can see and experience many species right here in your own back yard. It is a wonderful way to connect with nature for everyone, really, and I hope you enjoy reading my blog and sharing my journey to find Spring birds.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newbury, MA was the first place a fellow birder friend and I visited. We hopped into the car and drove from the reserve to Newburyport, back to the reserve, stopping at birding hotspots along the way. Below are a few of the birds we saw that inspired and amused us.
This was the last bird we expected to see, but the first bird of the day and he was standing in the middle of the road!
We headed into Newburyport to grab some coffee, and realized that we were very close to the Merrimack River. What a pleasant surprise when we walked out to the flowing river’s edge and saw one of my favorite ducks of all time … the Long Tailed Duck! Not just one or two, but 15-20 of them making their way back up to the Arctic Circle to breed.
Skipping ahead a couple of weeks to April, native and non-native flowers have begun to bloom at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. The weather has been atrociously cold and rainy, but I finally emerged from indoors, and low and behold, a welcoming pathway and fragrant flowers were there to greet me.
I walked around the circumference of the Sanctuary and was headed to Averill’s Island when I chanced upon another of my absolute favorites. If you haven’t already guessed, I have a lot of favorites. And this time, I snapped a decent photo.
Averill’s island was uneventful and cold, as once again, I had forgotten to wear my gloves. Heading back towards the Stone Bridge, on my right through the woods, I heard a rustling. I tiptoed a little closer, and was barely able to capture this image of the very FIRST Wood Duck I have ever seen. I tried so hard not to disturb it, but it heard me coming I guess and moved behind the reeds. Aaargh … Frustration Nation. As a rule, I do NOT post blurry photos, and I promise that next time my wood duck pic will be in focus. But I just have to share my first Wood Duck sighting with you…