Thursday 18 September 2014

Mount Auburn, Boston, Sept 2014

The rodents were keeping their heads down at Mount Auburn Cemetery today and who could blame them with Red-tailed Hawks everywhere it would seem. I was on the look-out for warblers, but had no luck. The hawks however made it an enjoyable morning in Boston.

The first one was seen by using all my field craft skill and wandering over to a couple of birders and looking over their shoulders as they watched the bird in a tree at the southern end of Auburn Lake.

The others told me that 3 birds had fledged from the resident couple. And shortly afterwards, two more birds, an adult and a juvenile crossed the lake and the first bird followed.

The birds were seen frequently during the day, with at least 10 sightings. I assume that I was seeing the same birds over and over and only recorded 4 that I could recognise individually.

Chipmunks called piercingly throughout the day and I am guessing that the hawks were hungry. One bird gave me an appraising look before deciding that the squirrels on the lawn behind me would make a more manageable meal. It launched a strike, but the squirrels were too alert and were back in cover before the hawk even reached the lawn.

The hawks provided some excitement on an otherwise quiet day in the cemetery which only brought 20 birds and no warblers.

Bird List for Mount Auburn;

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 4, Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 1, Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 4, Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 6, Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) 2, Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) 1, Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1, Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1, Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 3, Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) 2, Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) 1, Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 20, Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 6, Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 1, White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 3, American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 60, European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 20, Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) 15, Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 5, Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 1.

Harvard Square Station is on the Red Line of the subway, heading out of Boston towards Alewife. Bus nos. 71 and 73 leave from the station and take less than 10 minutes to reach the cemetery. There is a stop close to the cemetery gates and between them there should be a bus twice every 15 minutes.

For previous posts from Mount Auburn, see the links below;

Visit the dedicated USA and Canada page for more posts from Boston including; Back Bay FensPleasure Beach and Whale watchingfrom the New England Aquarium. 

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