Saturday, May 3, 2014

Watching Birds on the Ox Bow

Yesterday, I went on a trip (which happened to coincide with my birthday) with the University of Massachusetts Outing Club to watch birds and hike around the Ox Bow of the Connecticut River in Northampton/Easthampton, MA. We hiked for about 3 miles in Mass Audubon's Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.
Above is the view of the Holyoke Range Mountains, mirrored from the south and across the river, as opposed to my normal view.

The birds that we came to see were the Great Blue Herons, and their many nests over the Ox Bow.  Two of the nests have been taken over by larger raptors.

One is now occupied by a family of Bald Eagles, with the mother sticking her head out of the nest above.

Another nest was taken by Great Horned Owls.  Sadly, there were no Owls to be seen, as the younglings had fledged, and some smaller birds were flying around the abandoned nest.

We saw about a dozen Great Blue Heron nests over the Ox Bow, which had flooded so much, that a puddle just past the bridge at Old Springfield Road was more than ankle-deep, leaving me barefoot for the rest of the excursion.

The way back brought this beautiful view of the sun shining over a green, grassy field...
...and a rabbit!

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