Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 19: First Frost

Franklin Park golf course and environs, JP/Dorchester, MA, 6:30am-8:15am
frosty, chilly, covered sky

Today was the first frost I've noted this autumn. Could see my breath and was longing for gloves. Time to move the potted plants indoors!

I found a new spot to greet the sun (or the clouds covering it!): a little wooded hill smack dab in the middle of the park, overlooking the golf course.

So many birds today! Tons of geese and crows hang out here. I also spotted a large something - hawk?- that made a similar single "awwk" to yesterday's bird. It is thrilling to suddenly notice a huge bird was perched on the top branch of a bare tree. As I approached it flew right over my head. "Awwwk!"

I started to worry that yesterday's bird could have been a common crow, since they are also large and also "awwwk". Not that there's anything wrong with being a crow, I just feel dumb if I can't identify it! But was relieved to notice that the crows usually call at least three times in succession, sometimes more:

It was a fun morning, despite my very cold frost-soaked feet. Turns out frost-wet is a lot more uncomfortable than dew-wet. I felt a little guilty tramping all over the golf course, but I kept getting pulled hither and tither by interesting bird sounds and couldn't be bothered to detour to a far-off paved path. I did try to walk softly.

Today's bird was a small and sleek little woodpecker! I love how it kind of rotates around the branches as it hops around for bugs. White-bellied, tiny slender beak, and bluish spotted feathers. I'm going to guess "downy woodpecker" based on my field guide, but can't say for sure.

Can you hear him pecking?

Then he started to peep, perhaps in response to a crow. This recording cracks me up because I think the woodpecker sounds a bit like me pretending to be a bird. Or, a little bit like an Elmo version of a bird (nasally and a little slow):

As I was leaving the park, I encountered two huge birds, tawny-yellow and mottled, gigantic! I followed them for several minutes trying to memorize their markings. I think they might have been buteos, or hawks of some kind, because they had really wide tails. Beyond that insight, these field guides are hopeless! Lots of pictures but none like the ones I saw..

Back at home, I created a little loop based on the woodpecker's sounds, the crow calls, and the geese honks that filled my morning.
Here are two excerpts of my improvisations over the loops:


At October 19, 2010 at 11:49 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Mmm... ominous.


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