As we turn our clocks forward inviting in the spring it’s a good time to plan ahead for a bird walk or more in the Arnold Arboretum. Here is this year’s schedule, presented with some images of birds likely to be seen and/or heard on each walk as the spring migration proceeds:
Saturday April 20— Meadow Road to Bussey Hill: A 90-minute walk suitable for beginners as well as more experienced birders. Meeting place: Inside the main gate off the Arborway (parking along the Arborway) . 8:00 a.m.
Eastern Phoebe, an early spring migrant. Photo: Bob Mayer
Male Red-winged Blackbird announcing its territory over the cattail marsh. Photo: Bob Mayer
Mourning Dove nest barely holding three young birds. Seen on an early bird walk last season. Photo: Bob Mayer
Saturday April 27— Peters Hill and Hemlock Hill: A 90-minute walk suitable for beginners as well as more experienced birders. Meeting place: Peters Hill gate on Bussey Street (park along the roadway). 8:00 a.m.
A pair of Tree Swallows inspecting a nest box on Peters Hill. Photo: Bob Mayer
Cooper’s Hawk on Hemlock Hill near a nest site. Photo: Bob Mayer
Red-bellied Woodpeckers are present throughout the year in the Arboretum but are actively calling in spring. Photo: Bob Mayer
Saturday May 11—Meadow Road and Valley Road: A 90-minute walk suitable for beginners as well as more experienced birders. Meeting place: Inside the main gate off the Arborway (parking along the Arborway) 8:00 a.m.
Brown Thrashers often establish territory near the top of Bussey Hill. Photo: Bob Mayer
Yellow Warbler, singing male, in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection where they can be frequently seen in May. Photo:Bob Mayer
Wood Thrushes are hard to see but their melodious song may be heard on this May walk. Photo: Bob Mayer
Sunday May 19—Bussey Brook Meadow and Marsh: The Arboretum Park Conservancy and the Brookline Bird Club (BBC) are co-sponsoring this 90-minute walk in the Bussey Brook area of the arboretum. The walk is suitable for beginning birders as well as those more experienced. Meeting place: South Street gate to the Arboretum, on South Street, where there is limited parking. Also accessible from Forest Hills T Station path from Washington Street. 8:00 a.m.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak, male. The breast of this bird almost looks like the red area is dripping! Photo: Bob Mayer
Male Common Yellowthroat. They are often heard singing from the marsh area. Photo: Bob Mayer
Gray Catbirds are common in spring and summer throughout the Arboretum. The rufous under-tail is very visible in this image. Photo: Bob Mayer
For all of these walks the start time is 8:00AM, but note that the last walk is on Sunday not Saturday. See the arboretum website http://www.arboretum.harvard.edu for directions or to download a checklist of birds. Andrew Joslin will co-lead many of these walks. They are all listed by the BBC in their spring Blue Book as well. Arboretum members may sign up for the walks on the AA website calendar. A limited number of loaner binoculars will be available. The walks will take place rain or shine unless the weather is truly miserable. For questions about cancellations or anything else contact:
Bob Mayer, Jamaica Plain (617)522-0157 firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring bird walks are being held at other local sites as well. Get up, get out, enjoy the migration!