Contact Us: 617-730-2010
 

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.

Things that cannot be posted:  “Sightings” is meant to share our appreciation of Hall’s Pond Sanctuary nature: flora, fauna and landscape. We cannot post photos of people, even if their faces aren’t visible, and even if it’s a selfie. There are too many thorny issues arising from internet postings. Also, please no photos of political campaign items.

You can add a photo to your post by clicking on the “Choose File” button below the text box of your post. (The page can accommodate only one photo per post, so start a new post if you want to share more than one.)

Please share the date and time of your visit to HPS if it’s about something that happened on that day. 

 
 
 
 
 

 

Posts are held for approval by the moderator and will usually appear on the site within 24 hours, though you will see them as soon as you submit them. Your email address is required but will not be published.

 Choose a name or nickname to be displayed with this post.



 

102 Sightings

  • Fred Bouchard

    This just in from Neil Gore: “May 6 FOHP Community Day birding walk was excellent, both in turn-out of people and of birds. Highlights were Brown Thrasher, Magnolia, Northern Waterthrush, Black-throated Blue (which have been plentiful, and easily seen, at many sites this spring). Wed. May 2 was the first good day, and the last 7 days have been very good everywhere.”

    • Date(s): 5/9/18
  • Fred Bouchard

    Jimmy Chao posted on ebird that he has seen the Barred Owl again today. And many spring migrants have arrived!

    https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45488596

    • Date(s): 5/9/18
  • Deborah Stone

    Winter finally yields to spring on May First.

    • Date(s): May 1, 2018
  • Fred Bouchard

    D. Blakely Hoar Sanctuary, Brookline, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
    Apr 21, 2018 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
    Protocol: Traveling 1.1 miles
    Comments: Sunny, dry, cool, 45F, breezy; w N Gore. Since we saw only ‘usual suspects’ at Hall’s Pond, we went to the far SW corner of Brookline. HP ‘suspects’: Golden-crowned Kinglet feeding on a log; Swamp Sparrow, under the boardwalk; D-C Cormorant; Red-bellied Woodpecker in usual spot by parking lot. 20+ Robins; 10+ Common Grackles, Redwings, Flickers, Song Sparrows, etc. Zero warblers here, too.
    24 species

    Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 1
    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 4
    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 2
    Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
    Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) 1
    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 2
    Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 2
    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 4
    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 3
    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 2
    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 2
    Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 1
    Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 2
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 10
    European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 3
    Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) 1
    Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 3
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 3
    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 3
    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 4
    Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) 3
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 12
    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 4
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 5

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44783891

    • Date(s): 4/22/18
  • Fred Bouchard

    RAIN DATE! Hall’s Pond birdwalk for Thursday (April 19) — now postponed due to rain forecast — will walk instead on Saturday (April 21), 7 – 9am. Meet at picnic tables; bring binocs, wear baseball cap and sunscreen; if you’re late, seek us out — the sanctuary is pretty small, after all. Fred B

    • Date(s): 4/18/18
  • Frank Caro

    Helleborus in formal garden

    • Date(s): April 2018
  • Chao "Jimmy" Wu

    Apr 13, 2018 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM
    Protocol: 0.25 mile(s)
    Comments: Brisk Day…came back mostly to check for early migrants (esp. a Hermit Thrush I briefly glimpsed a few days prior) and see whether the Barred Owl was still in the usual spot. It was not in its usual place and instead the roost was replaced by a very obvious mustelid. My initial thought was that it was either a fisher or a mink…either of which would be an incredible find for the location! I believe it may have been Oliver Burton who mentioned in one of his checklists that a “mink” was found here. The mustelid’s proportions and behavior seemed more fisher-like, especially the size, but the habitat just seemed so unreasonable and my mammal ID skills weren’t too sharp so I mulled between the two species. Either way, the Mustelid had taken over the pine and was resting high up near the spot previously occupied by the Barred Owl. I checked the region for the owl but could not locate it. It seemed like our friend might have been displaced!

    The fisher was resting on a fork about 40 feet or so up the pine. The majority of the time it was just dozing or sleeping, but kept a watchful eye on the nearby grackles. Unfortunately, it was virtually impossible to get a good look at the animal except for a small window a few feet from the base of the tree (my neck still is a bit sore from looking up)! Overall, it was very obliging and I managed to get a few good images before it tucked away from the edge, leaving only a brownish-grey lump on an otherwise normal looking branch.

    After I got home I shared the photos with Joshua Rose who helped confirm that it was indeed a fisher. Fishers are related to martens and weasels and were largely eradicated from much of the Southern parts of its historical range thanks to high levels of fur trapping. In recent years, they’ve made increased forays into Southern parts of New England, though a sighting in as urban as an area as Hall’s Pond was definitely completely unexpected!

    Bird Sightings:
    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis): 2 (one seems to be on active nest)
    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos): 2
    Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo): 1
    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura): 1
    Barred Owl (Strix varia): 0 (Perhaps displaced by the fisher)
    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus): 1
    Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens): 1
    Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe): 1
    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata): 1
    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus): 2
    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor): 2
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius): 10
    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis): 1 (tan-striped)
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia): 2 (carrying nesting material)
    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis): 2
    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus): 1
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula): 10
    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis): 1
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): 2
    Checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44531842

    • Date(s): April 13th, 2018
  • Jasper

    Swamp sparrow (with Fred Bouchard)

    • Date(s): 4/17/18
  • Fred Bouchard

    Hall’s Pond & Amory Woods, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
    Apr 17, 2018 6:55 AM – 8:45 AM
    Protocol: Traveling 1.2 mile(s)
    Comments: Cloudy > p/c, cool 45F, n/w breeze. 3 Rounds. I find neither Barred Owl nor large mammal in the 10 upland pines. Cross paths with Jasper Freeberg briefly as we admire Swamp Sparrow.
    27 species

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 4 2 nesters, 2 noisy flyovers.
    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 7 continuing, now 5 on amory swale.
    Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 21 low ragged V heading southeast as i exit car
    Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 1
    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 4
    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1
    Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 4
    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 6
    American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 2 flythroughs
    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 2
    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 1
    Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) 1 fide Jasper Freeberg
    Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) 2
    Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) 4
    Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) 4 2 on school driveway, 2 in amory swale
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 25 few on field, mostly deployed by pond, upland & garden
    Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 2
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 4
    Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) 2
    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 3
    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 1 singing high
    Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) 1
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 28
    House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 2 males singing by tennis courts
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 17 mainly near both baseball backstops

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44659557

    • Date(s): 4/17/18
  • Fred Bouchard

    Apr 12, 2018 6:55 AM – 8:15 AM
    Protocol: Traveling 1.2 mile(s)
    Comments: Clear, still, 37F. Wintry regression, virtual non-migration (except flickers). No birders. Dog-walker klatch at 8am.
    17 species

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 4 2 dozing on pond, 2 noisy flyovers.
    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 5 pairs in amory swale and main pond, loose male in upland.
    Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 2 flyovers
    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 4
    Barred Owl (Strix varia) 0 not on whitewashed forked pine; ‘replaced’ by coiled porcupine or muskrat
    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1 trilling insistently on bare limb over parking lot
    Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 2 1 calling from maple by beacon shed; 1 in deaf school woods
    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 3
    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 0
    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 5 examining tree-hole at 20 amory
    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 2
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 62 modest estimate, omnipresent: at 7:40, 36 were scattered over tennis-side ball-field.
    Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 2 school picnic tables
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 3
    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 3
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 18
    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 1
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 25 16 by amory ‘comfort station’
    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44493693.

    • Date(s): 4/12/18
  • Fred Bouchard

    Hall’s Pond & Amory Woods, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
    Apr 12, 2018 6:55 AM – 8:15 AM
    Protocol: Traveling 1.2 mile(s)
    Comments: Clear, still, 37F. Wintry regression, virtual non-migration (except flickers). No birders. Dog-walker klatch at 8am.
    17 species

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 4 2 dozing on pond, 2 noisy flyovers.
    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 5 pairs in amory swale and main pond, loose male in upland.
    Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 2 flyovers
    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 4
    Barred Owl (Strix varia) 0 not on whitewashed forked pine; ‘replaced’ by coiled porcupine or muskrat
    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) 1 trilling insistently on bare limb over parking lot
    Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 1
    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 2 1 calling from maple by beacon shed; 1 in deaf school woods
    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 3
    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 0
    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 5 examining tree-hole at 20 amory
    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 2
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 62 modest estimate, omnipresent: at 7:40, 36 were scattered over tennis-side ball-field.
    Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 2 school picnic tables
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 3
    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 3
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 18
    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 1
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 25 16 by amory ‘comfort station’
    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44493693.

    • Date(s): 4/12/18
  • Fred Bouchard

    Hall’s Pond & Amory Woods, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
    Apr 5, 2018 6:55 AM – 8:15 AM
    Protocol: Traveling 1.2 miles in three loops
    Comments: Sunny, harsh 20-knot n/w winds, 30F+. Nora Dooley a ‘drop-in’. Green limited to a few buds, skunk-cabbage shoots pond-side, and frostbent-but-unbowed snowdrops. No turtles out! Accosted by two unruly dogs: cute irish terrier and small greyhound with a ball.
    20 species
    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 6 pair housekeeping on pond; 2 pair flyovers
    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 7 3 on pond; 2 in cattails; 2 in still-flooded amory swale; tame expecting handouts
    Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 1 sits quiet on pond snag; lifts off toward Charles after 9am
    Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 1 leisurely coursing over ballfield at 9:15
    Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 3
    Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 1
    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 0 whirring wings?
    Barred Owl (Strix varia) 1 has ‘barry’ been here all winter? as 12/17, wide-eyed in forked pine 70′ from pond.
    Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 2 M on amory oak; F grubbing in golden birch-bark by boardwalk
    Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 1 in sunny leeward of ballfield
    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 8 noisy, treetopping
    American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 1
    Common Raven (Corvus corax) 0 two resonant croaks @ 8am; no visual
    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 1 singing
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 33 widespread, esp. on ball field (herded by dogs, pacing joggers); low estimate
    Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 3 sunny amory side, with robins
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 1 leaf-littering right by cattails
    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 4 pair by boardwalk, another by 24 churchill
    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 4 one singing; 3 flyovers
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 22 half of them rummaging thru leaves in wet swale; rest scattered, ‘check’-ing
    House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 1 singing on ball field
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 6 tennis courts and 1080 beacon

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44268934

    • Date(s): 4/5/18
  • Fred Bouchard

    E-Bird Report for
    Hall’s Pond & Amory Woods, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
    Mar 28, 2018 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
    Protocol: Traveling 0.8 mile(s)
    Comments: Sunny, warming, 55F. Snowdrops (galanthus) and green shoots (crocus? daffodil?) cunningly emerge from leaflitter. Strollers and springtime wanderers on the paths. Fluttering in formal garden rhododendron turned up, upon patient inspection and pishing, not February’s wintering Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but first a roving Chipmunk, then later a Grackle, assessing a nesting spot.
    13 species

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 2 quietly foraging on grass by willows, dogs on other side of fence
    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 5 head-bobbing courtship displays as prelude to mating
    Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 2 pecking at mossy log semi-submerged by boardwalk
    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 7 inspecting bark for grubs
    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 3
    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) 2
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 9
    Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) 4 in ivy & pachysandra by boardwalk, then over the white house’s wood fence
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 0 not in evidence at cattail patch
    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 2 female by willows, male singing lustily from upland
    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 1
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 27 pervasive, noisy, restless (some may be double-counted)
    House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 2
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 6 near tennis courts

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44048717

    • Date(s): 3/29/18
  • Alex G.

    10:26 am 35 degreees
    Spotted what appears to be Barred Owl while walking

    • Date(s): 03/25/18
    • Fred Bouchard

      The Barred Owl has been in residence since last fall. (S)he’s high in the largest forked pine at the first split in the uplands woods, not 50 feet from the boardwalk. (Shh, don’t make a ruckus.)

      • Date(s): 4/5/18
    • Fred Bouchard

      The Barred Owl seems to have disappeared from the forked pine in the uplands, and in its vicinity was a large rodent, probably a muskrat.

      • Date(s): 4/12/18
  • Fred Bouchard

    Hall’s Pond & Amory Woods, Norfolk, Massachusetts, US
    Mar 19, 2018 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
    Protocol: Traveling 0.8 mile(s)
    Comments: Sunny, 35F, n/w breeze, icy boardwalks. No waterfowl yet on still icy olive-green pond.
    9 species
    Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 1
    Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) 2 peeling through bark on gold birches at picnic tables
    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1 spotted in high woods behind Home for the Blind (Amory St)
    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 2
    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) 1
    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) 3 one ‘tweeting’ like cardinal; two silent popped up at my screech owl imitation by cars
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 9 foraging by picnic tables & in woodlands swale, tut-tut-ing
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 2 pair [overwintering?] plucking daintily at cattail fluff in reeds
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) 1 flyover
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 0

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43797598
    This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

    • Date(s): 3/19/18
  • Neil Gore

    Took a walk thru the Sanctuary this AM: mild, sunny, upper 40’s—a delightful late winter day (I’m not saying early spring just yet). A harbinger of spring to come was a flock of Common Grackles, perhaps the earliest migrant. Chickadee, Titmouse(s), and Blue Jays were active. A little greenish-yellow tint on the willows, and some bright red buds starting to open on a maple. A little of the Amory Woods boardwalk is slightly under water, what with 3″ above average precipitation so far in 2018. Sanctuary looks in good shape!

    • Date(s): February 24, 2018
    • Deborah Stone

      Who says there’s no color in the dead of winter? Check out these Red Osier Dogwood branches growing against the fence to the left of the gate nearest Beacon Street.

      Look around and you’ll find some more clumps of Red Osier growing elsewhere in the sanctuary. The shrub grows characteristically gangly and unruly, but it’s so lovable for its brilliant winter color.

      • Date(s): February 2, 2018
      • Fred Bouchard

        A gleeful student was oil-painting these red osier saplings on the boardwalk by the yellowing willows today, 1pm, 3/19/19.

        • Date(s): 3/19/19
    • jhawk1729

      Barred Owl.
      3:15pm, 12/26/17

      • Date(s): 12/26/2017
    • Nate Dow

      Somebody is warm and cozy inside …

      • Date(s): 12/10/2017
      • Fred Bouchard

        Nate, I can’t imagine what animal might overwinter in the Wood Duck box; and (come spring) I can’t imagine Wood Ducks living in it as closely positioned as it is to the grass and walkway. Let’s watch and see. Fred

        • Date(s): 3/24/18
    • Nate Dow

      The only thing sighted on the water surface today was the golden winter sun.

      • Date(s): 12/10/2017