Sunday, August 18, 2013

An August Morning at Chestnut Hill Reservoir

Double-crested Cormorant
 I have been quite the reformed birder recently. I've hardly done any birding at all in fact, even though the weather has been so nice and mild. But yesterday morning I managed to sneak in a walk around Chestnut Hill Reservoir and get in a little birding.

The cool weather made for a very pleasant walk. The highlights were some Sandpipers (Least and Spotted) on the exposed rocks on the east side and I also heard the song of a Back-billed Cuckoo that came drifting over the water from the direction of the hill on the eastern edge of the reservoir. I have been feeling the distinct lack of cuckoos, so hearing just the one snippet of song was a treat. And the Least Sandpipers are only the second record for the reservoir on ebird. See the full list below.

Red-Eared Slidder
Beyond these I was also struck by the green-blue eyes of the cormorant. I haven't seen any this close in a while and I never noticed their eye-color before. Quite magnificent. While walking, I scared up some turtles in a couple of places and snapped a few pictures. Later at home, I realized that the turtle had a red patch on the side of its head and therefore wasn't the typical painted turtle. So a quick internet search revealed that it was a Red-Eared Slidder, which is native to the Southern US and Mexico. But as popular pets, they are frequently released into the wild and have become invasive. But I was still excited to identify a new turtle. (If you click on the picture to enlarge you should be able to make out the red-ear patch.)

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

Double-Crested Cormorants
Spotted Sandpiper
Least Sandpipers
Great Black-backed Gull
Gull sp.
Black-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swifts
Northern Flicker
Blue Jays
Black-capped Chickadees
Tufted Titmouse
Least Sandpiper
White-breasted Nuthatch
Yellow Warbler
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow