We loaded up the truck Saturday afternoon and headed to MA (sans Airstream since it was a quick trip) to celebrate two important birthdays: daughter Jen’s 50th and grandson Mac’s 13th. The dog and I grabbed some good walks and birding as part of the deal.
I love to bird Parker River NWR when I’m visiting but since they do not allow dogs, it was out this trip. Sunday, Penny and I went over to check out a few favorite spots in West Newbury. Cherry Hill Reservoir always seems to have interesting birds and as I drove up, I could see hundreds of Ruddy Ducks sleeping and occasionally diving to feed. Here are a couple:
I was hoping to walk the dog along the eastern shore where there is a nice trail and lots of sparrows but a guy showed up with a dog just as I did, and I decided to move on. So we drove a few miles over to Artichoke Reservoir where last year, I had seen some Greater White-fronted geese.
I had forgotten that last year, I got tangled up in a big road race that starts in Newburyport and weaves its way up along the reservoir. I was literally right in the middle of the back of the pack with the big truck as joggers and walker, most with earphones, moved up the narrow winding road. I finally got to an intersection where I could escape and I returned the following day for the geese. So, when I saw a small “road race 11-2” sign I realized that it was going to happen again, if I stuck around.
I had recalled seeing a gated woods road back aways at the south end of the reservoir so returning there, Penny and I had a great outing. There was no one around and she could run down the oak-lined farm road to her heart’s content. As we approached the outlet to the reservoir, I heard the croak of a Great Blue Heron and up ahead in the marsh, I saw it. I took a long distance shot before the dog scared it off.
Further ahead, there was an overgrown trail that lead to the marshy shoreline. I flushed about 25 Mallards but across the water, there were dozens of Canada Geese and an old farm.
We finished up our walk as Penny romped through the farm fields. I got home in time to change, get to a birthday lunch with Jennifer, Mary, Mac, and Ben, and return to the house for dessert. Here’s the birthday girl and the killer cake that Ben ordered — it made me glad we’d done some much walking. I knew that we had another cake for Mac on Monday.