, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 11, 2013

As weather changes, birds begin to arrive


I saw my first common tern on Plum Island this week as purple martins and more swallows are also arriving. We also saw a pair of green herons at Pike’s Bridge Road as they, and the night herons, return to our area.

The first “babies” of the season are emerging. We saw both mallards and Canada geese with little yellow “puff balls” this past week. I was also summoned to a local customer’s backyard where she had her scope fixed upon a baby great horned owl sitting together with its mother near the top of a tall spruce tree. The mother was preening the baby owl, which still had some down feathers, even though it was nearly as large as she. It was fun to see the owlet bobbing its head up and down as the two were being harassed by the local murder of crows. My Friday morning Bird Walks “Focus on Warblers” with Mass Audubon Joppa Flats will finally have some warblers to focus on!

I have a free Sunday morning walk, looking for migrating birds around Newburyport tomorrow, which meets at the store at 8 a.m., so I expect that more birds will be around for all to see. Even if there are showers ahead, and we do need the rain, we often have our best birding in wet weather. So these rain events can be a blessing for gardeners and birders alike.


Steve Grinley is the owner of Bird Watcher’s Supply and Gift at the Route 1 traffic circle in Newburyport and the Nature Shop at Joppa Flats.

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