favorite birding spot of mine is Willard's Woods, a town conservation land
parcel in Lexington, Mass. There is a stream running through and a small
pond. Near the pond is a bluebird nesting box. An Eastern bluebird pair
nested there in April. The bluebirds perched in a tree or a branch, and dove
into the grasses for insects. The perch on the right is a woody stem not far
off the ground. They dove, and dove again, and then went back to the nesting
box. I happily followed them around the meadow, trying to get a picture.
Around the same pond I saw Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-Rumped
Warbler, and Cedar Waxwings.
There was a tree
swallow pair in another bluebird box in a neighboring meadow. Unlike the
bluebirds, they catch bugs on the wing. They were very approachable, much
more than the bluebirds. I could rarely get closer than 10 yards to the
bluebirds. Pretty quickly I got a lovely frame-filling picture of a tree
swallow on top of the nesting box pole. Problem was, the box was attached to
the pole with ugly electrical wire. I added a stem I found lying on the
ground to the top of the nesting box. The stem was the same stuff as the
bluebird perch, and I stuck it in between the wire and the metal pole.- I
was able to sneak in and do it without disturbing the birds.
The perch was a hit with the swallows, sometimes both male and female
perched on it at the same time. The swallow picture in the bird gallery was
taken on the added perch. The Willard meadows around this time were filled
with an hundred or more Wood satyrs, brown butterflies with yellow eyespots.
This mating pair was actually taken at another place.