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See & Share Sightings

Please share your reports of interesting happenings at Hall’s Pond Sanctuary and enjoy reading others’ posts. Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Some ideas of things to share: animals, birds, flowers, trees, a cool rock, a tree shape, a strange fungus; a change you noticed from one visit to the next or over a period of time; snippets of overheard conversation about the Sanctuary; kids’ reactions. Write up something you find curious or awesome. Ask questions about something you saw or heard, or anything that HPS make you wonder about.

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102 Sightings

  • Bob Stymeist

    A Wilson’s Warbler, unusual for this time of the year was discovered at the Sanctuary on Sunday December 3 by Mary Lou Kaufman, I saw and photographed on Dec 5 and was still present on December 7

    • Fred Bouchard

      On a cold, clear afternoon, a lone Ruby-crowned Kinglet hunkered in the rhododendrons in the formal garden. They’re among the first migrants to show up in April, and a few hang on into late fall.

      • Date(s): 12/6/17
    • Deborah Stone

      This spectacular fall color on the edge of Amory Woods challenges my ecological ethics, because the gorgeous red vines are my childhood nemesis, Poison Ivy. Mercifully, I can now get close enough to admire it without weeks of itching.

      • Date(s): October 22, 2017
    • Nate Dow

      A brilliant cardinal happily just captured his afternoon lunch: a juicy June bug!

      • Date(s): 8/16/17
      • Deborah Stone

        Wonderful photo, especially how you caught the juicy bug. I believe the bird is a male Cardinal, even though you can’t see the crest.

        • Fred Bouchard

          That is a male [Northern] Cardinal eating the bug.

          • Date(s): 10/25/17
      • Alex Beck

        June 27, 2017
        Turkey mama and 8 small chicks in formal garden
        Robin parents & juvenile

        • Date(s): 6-27-17
      • Deborah Stone

        On a sunny Friday eve about 6 pm, for about half an hour I watched the Great Blue Heron sit, stretch and preen on its favorite dead branch mid-pond. Unlike me, it was apparently undisturbed by a gang of teenage boys playing hide-and-seek, yelling, and running back and forth over the boardwalks. Eventually the boys must have gotten too close for comfort on the eastern shore behind it, though, because it flew up into the willows on the south edge, where it continued its preening.

        • Date(s): June 9, 2017
      • Fred Bouchard

        This Summer Soldier may stick around a while! Bird report from 6/1 below. Fred B

        Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2017 16:22:47 +0000
        From: Dougie Peebles
        Subject: [MASSBIRD] Brookline Hall’s Pond Summer Tanager
        Halls’ Pond adult male Summer Tanager is still there.
        Back corner behind the boardwalk in Maple Tree slightly above eye level at 10:30 AM.
        Absolutely spectacular.
        Doug Peebles, Wayland

        • Date(s): 6/3/17
      • Deborah Stone

        Here are three baby bunnies seen in the formal garden on June 2. They are about 6-7 inches long. I wonder if one of them could be the same as the one posted by RuthArtPhoto on May 30 with a tick in its ear. Saw several adult rabbits on the same day in the formal garden and in Nan’s Meadow.

        • Date(s): June 2, 2017
      • Deborah Stone

        The fringe tree in the formal garden has a short but glorious show.

        • Date(s): June 2, 2017
      • Fred Bouchard

        Knockout Summer Tanager Continues!
        Hall’s Pond & Amory Woods, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
        May 31, 2017 7:30 AM – 10:00 AM
        Protocol: Traveling 1.1 mile(s)
        Comments: Gray, cool (55F), trace of drizzle. Several birders trickled through seeking Summer Tanager. No sign of previously reported Acadian Flycatcher.
        29 species
        Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 2 twice flew noisily to ballfield with no obvious provocation & returned.
        Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas) 1
        Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1 at 7:30 was drying wings on turtle log, then circled up in widening gyres before heading towards Charles River
        Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 2 one on tree, one in reeds, both flew before 8am
        Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 1
        Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) 2
        Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3
        Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) 1
        Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1
        Downy Woodpecker (Eastern) (Picoides pubescens pubescens/medianus) 2
        Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) (Colaptes auratus auratus/luteus) 1 silently flew to bare tree at 10am
        Warbling Vireo (Eastern) (Vireo gilvus gilvus) 2
        Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 1
        Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
        White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern) (Sitta carolinensis carolinensis) 1
        Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 1 called loudly 5-6 times ~8am from garden; a rarity this year?
        American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 26
        Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 2
        European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 2
        Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) 1
        American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) 1
        White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) 1 late straggler; sang twice from Amory Woods near car park, 7:40
        Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) 1 sluggish, brilliant male continues from boardwalk by uplands; a few chip notes
        Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 2
        Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged) (Agelaius phoeniceus [phoeniceus Group]) 3
        Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 22
        Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) 3
        American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 2
        House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 11
        View this checklist online at
        This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

        • Date(s): 5/31/17
      • Fred Bouchard

        Paul Peterson reported seeing the handsome vermilion male Summer Tanager (a rare southern visitor to New England) at Hall’s Pond as of Monday evening. Another reliable birder, Ryan Schain, reported to Massbird yet another unusual avian visitor to the Pond yesterday: “An unusually confiding Acadian Flycatcher is currently calling and hawking insects along the edge of Hall’s Pond, about 10-15 feet past the end of the boardwalk’s guard rail (water side of the path).” [The Acadian’s call is often described as a plosive: “PIZZ-ah!”] Try today (Tuesday PM) or, with this sluggish weather pattern, perhaps Wednesday AM. I will try tomorrow!

        • Date(s): 5/30/17
      • Fred Bouchard

        Checklist from Saturday AM.
        Hall’s Pond & Amory Woods, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
        May 27, 2017 10:00 AM – 10:40 AM
        Protocol: Traveling 0.5 mile.
        Comments: Mostly sunny, cool (55F), N breeze.
        33 species
        Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 4 noisy defenders of turf, as we were leaving
        Mallard (Northern) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos/conboschas) 1
        Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1
        Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) 2
        Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 2
        Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) 3
        Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1
        Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
        Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) 1
        Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) 0
        Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 2
        Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
        Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 2
        White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
        Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus) 5
        American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 15
        Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 4
        European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 10
        Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) 5
        Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) 1
        Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) 1
        American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) 1
        Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) 1
        Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia) 1
        Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1
        Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) 1 day 3? sunning on bare cross-branches of old willow on boardwalk, East end. Seen by many.
        Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 2
        Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) 1
        Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 5 squabbling in willows
        Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 18 uplands nursery in full swing
        Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) 4
        House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 1
        American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 2
        House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 11
        View this checklist online at

        • Date(s): 5/28/17
      • Fred Bouchard

        the gorgeous male summer tanager (found i think by leslie kramer) continues at HP today. cliff cook and i had at 10am today a two-minute study of this vermilion Southern beauty (flesh colored bill, no black wing) as it basked silently in the bare cross-branches of the old willow that stands between the shady boardwalk overlook and the pond-side boardwalk. this was at 10am today, and weather conditions (E wind) are such that it might hang out a bit longer. we didn’t hear it, but the song should be like a softer, buzzier scarlet tanager, and its call note “chick!-burrrr”. E-bird listing to follow in a later message. There were also a few lingering migrant warblers, like Black & White, Parula, Redstart, Magnolia. “The” Ovenbird (perhaps the same individual I revived from its encounter with an Ivy St. chain-link fence ten days ago, was singing from the Amory puddle area, and we counted five Swanson’s Thrushes (2 along Amory St, 2 in the uplands, and one in the Garden.)

        • Date(s): 5/27/17
      • RuthArtPhoto

        Baby Rabbit with tick in its ear. A warning to park goers that ticks are in the area. Very sad for the Rabbit, though.

        • Date(s): May 20, 2017
      • Fred Bouchard

        Hi Folks!
        Good migration everywhere, merited a peek at the Pond. Should be good Thursday and Friday, too.
        Fred B

        Hall’s Pond & Amory Woods, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
        May 17, 2017 9:55 AM – 11:10 AM
        Protocol: Traveling 1.3 mile(s)
        Comments: Given the morning’s major migrant wave (finally!) at Mount Auburn Cemetery, it seemed a good idea to check on our “rus-in-urbe” spot. Some rustles of spring, yes, late on a hot (75-85F) day as it was.
        29 species
        Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 0 decamped? extirpated?
        Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 2
        Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) 1 hen in uplands
        Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1 flew in at 10:30 with a loud gronk!
        Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 1
        Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 3
        Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1
        Downy Woodpecker (Eastern) (Picoides pubescens pubescens/medianus) 1
        Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) 1
        Warbling Vireo (Eastern) (Vireo gilvus gilvus) 3
        Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) 2
        Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 1
        White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern) (Sitta carolinensis carolinensis) 1
        Veery (Catharus fuscescens) 1 in garden rhododendrons
        Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus) 3 uplands, boardwalk, Amory boardwalk
        American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 24
        Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) 2
        European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 10
        Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) 1 Close encounter: found it stunned at chainlink fence in Ivy St School. Gently removed it to skunk cabbage patch in Amory wetland.
        Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia) 2
        Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) 1
        Yellow Warbler (Northern) (Setophaga petechia [aestiva Group]) 1
        Song Sparrow (melodia/atlantica) (Melospiza melodia melodia/atlantica) 1
        Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 3
        Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged) (Agelaius phoeniceus [phoeniceus Group]) 4
        Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 25
        Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) 5
        House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 1
        American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 2
        House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 20
        View this checklist online at

        • Date(s): 5/17/17
      • Tracy Patruno

        Enjoyed watching baby squirrels in the trees of Amory Woods. Sadly, there was also a dead squirrel at the bottom of one tree trunk.

        • Date(s): 5/16/17
      • Audrey Stanwood

        Posted per request of Fred Bouchard: I birded on Thursday, May 11, from 7:40 to 8:15 a.m.
        Saw: yellow warbler, overnbird, pair of wood ducks, great blue heron, baltimore orioles, northern waterthrush, cormorant, common yellowthroat.
        Heard only: black and white warbler, song sparrow, warbling vireo

        • Date(s): May 11
      • Deborah Stone

        There’s a beautiful pink Dogwood tree in bloom right now, located in the little strip of woods to the east of the “arcade” that connects the formal garden with the pond area. Despite its name, Cornus florida, it’s a native. The tree is so crowded by others that it has had to shoot up above the canopy and has no lower branches anymore. It’s worth craning your neck.

        • Date(s): May 10
      • Deborah Stone

        May 7 was Community Day for the pond creatures, too. Here a Mallard and a turtle are having a little tête-a-tête, while another turtle looks the other way as if to give them privacy, and a Cormorant surveys the scene from atop a dead branch. I took the photo with my iPhone zoomed out as far as possible, which gave the effect of one of the oil paintings being done on the other side of the pond.

        • Date(s): May 7
      • Tracy Patruno

        The greenery near the path to gazebo was lush like carpeting!

        • Date(s): 5/7/17