As we drive Prison Camp Road into the park we could hear Veerys and Ovenbirds at every stop. Interestingly, though, we didn't hear a lot of Red-eyed Vireos. We ended up with 75 species seen or heard for the morning trip. We had some nice examples of birds gathering nesting material, like the female Rose-breasted Grosbeak below....
When we got to the marsh near the old prison camp we could hear lots of Least Flycatchers, but we also had a nice look at an Alder Flycatcher calling from the top of a tree. This was as we were listening to an American Bittern pump in the marsh.
We stopped by the pond on Reuben Walker Rd. to look for Bridled Shiners. Almost everyone got at least a fleeting glance at these little fish...which are listed as a species for special concern in MA. And thanks to Ellen Ruell we also got this interesting invertebrate out of the water. This insect is called a Backswimmer (Notonecta undulata) and they use their long back legs for "rowing" on their backs looking for small aquatic invertebrates to eat. Since they overwinter as adults and lay eggs in the spring, this is likely what this Backswimmer was doing out of the water.
We got everyone back to their cars just shortly after 12 and realized that we had driven less than 12 miles to do this entire trip. It's amazing what you can see in a relatively well-defined area with great habitat....and the ears of Mark Lynch!
After the trip officially ended Mark & I decided to drive down Whitehall Road in the park and give a final look for odonates. We were rewarded with both Hudsonian Whiteface and Chalk-front Corporals. And I managed to get some good shots of the corporals.
All in a wonderful few hours in a very nice place close to home....and it didn't pour!