Mount Auburn Spring (AKA Birders' Paradise)
May 2, 2012
6am-9:30am, Brooks Estate, Medford and Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge.
My friend, Jim McCoy, an experienced birder, was kind enough to take me birding with him at an early hour this morning. We checked out some birds at Brooks Estate in Medford which was relatively quiet, then booked it over to the Birders' Paradise: historic Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.
I've only been to Mt. Auburn a couple times before, and was excited to have expert guidance for this trip.
The place was actually crawling with birders, it being the prime of spring migration with rumors of "fallout" (migratory phenomenon where large number of migrants arrive in one night) in the air. Every now and then I'd glimpse a group of binoculared and be-hatted people, craning their necks or pointing or murmuring about recent discoveries. There was also the occasional hardcore lone birder. Awesome!
There's a bit of a code of sharing too, as birders who knew each other would swap info about birds they had seen, upon encountering into one another.
Jim was awesome about explaining and naming different birds. He was also a bit apologetic about the poor light - it was overcast but bright and seeing birds was difficult. Against that bright white sky, every bird was a backlit silhouette. Colors, markings, and details that help a person ID birds were all obscured.
I didn't mind so much, in fact, it was a good excuse for me to focus exclusively on listening, which is my main interest anyway.
Overheard in some bushes, the Yellow-Rumped Warbler:
I love accidental bird duets. This one, with the two-note descending call of the chickadee and the fluid gurgling melodic phrases of the wood thrush, was entrancing.
Who is this bird? I'm a poor student, forgot to take notes on this one. Help, Jim!