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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

June 19, 2010 4-5:15 pm sunny and breezy Allens Pond, Dartmouth MA (part 1)

Dartmouth, MA is a minor tourist attraction and hosts some of the most beautiful views on the Northeastern seaboard that I have had the privilege to gaze upon. It also had the most beautiful Audubon sanctuary that I have ever been to in my measly little life as a bird watching squirt (nerd).

We had a very successful walk which was highlighted by discovery of a (happy) pig farm. The farmer had positioned them in a shadey section right at the back of their property and right next to the path. The pigs were very happy with this arrangement and seemed to be prospering from it.

Since we had a very big list of birds I will not go into all the details for most of the common birds such as a Mourning Dove or a House Sparrow.

Tree and Barn Swallows destroyed the insect populations as a few Chipping Sparrows hopped about, their beady black eyes alway scanning for a delicious termite. A Turkey Vulture soared overhead and an Eastern Towhee sang from the top of a small Eastern Red Cedar, while more could be found foraging in the undergrowth. Crows flapped nosily over head. Catbirds p-p-p-u-u-u-r-r-r-e-e-e-d (Purred) snarled (who says catbirds can't snarl - cats snarl) and chattered along with a whole assortment of exotic noises from deep in the woodlands.

A House Sparrow stood on a post while Yellow Warblers filled the forest with their happy songs. A Tufted Titmouse hopped about in the canopy while a Mourning Dove did something (which I can't remember him doing). A group of Cedar Waxwings dashed above while we slowly walked below.

We found a female Common Grackle. An Eastern Cottontail stood boldly on the path until he saw us and courage flew out the window. One colorful gem known as a Redstart flitted through the trees wearing the worst camouflage suit ever invented. What appeared to be a male Orchard Oriole flew over the path.

One of the best birds we saw was a Blue-Winged Warbler who landed in a small tree for a second (attracted by my pishing, he was as sharp as a sandpiper beak because it only took him a second to realize that I was a fake) before dashing away on his sapphire wings. An Ovenbird sang from deep in the woods, his song sounding like the opposite of a trickling stream and more like a raging river playing a very repetitive rock and roll song in a very weird style.

Here is a list of all the plants and animals that I did not mentioned already: a very yellow Spring Peeper, a House Cat, flowering Wild Strawberries, their blossoms shining in the pleasant afternoon sun, ferns, Poison Ivy or as my father would call it "toxicodendron radicans", Spicebush, Sassafras, Indian Pipes, Slippery Elm (?), another cottontail, Birch, Oak and Maple. Things we discovered on the walk: Owl feather, a pile of Dragonfly wings, stone walls and boulders, a narrow winding path, a deep dark deciduous woodland and a meadow. In the end we had only our father to thank for choosing (using only his natural instinct and a computer) such a great walk on such a nice day.

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