American Redstarts and a Saturday Morning's Simple Pleasures

An American Redstart By Dan Pancamo - originally posted to Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

An American Redstart
By Dan Pancamo - originally posted to Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Laurie Danforth and Will Danforth led an earnest group of birdwatchers on Saturday, May 20. For information on future walks and other adult programming, please sign up for our updates!

By Laurie Danforth

Most of us begin to learn bird identification skills by checking out our winter feeders. But in spring our fascinating neotropical migrants return and the trees are dense with leaves and all bird feeders are stored away. Identification by sight can become a challenge.  Not so much though if you learn to name that tune! Your enjoyment skyrockets when you are able to recognize individual bird songs.

Last Saturday, our group of birders headed out to explore the diverse habitats of Grafton to check out what birds called the local area home, including the nearby woods, field and ponds.

Beginning to learn by ear was our goal as we headed down the street to the tennis courts. There we found one of the real highlights of our walk: listening and watching the many American Redstarts who were in rare form as they sang from treetops to low shrubs.  A few times we were even able to see these beautiful little guys at almost eye level.  

In the Grafton Town Park, where just the day before several interesting birds had been singing, the woods were silent. Nevertheless, we were delighted to find an assortment of spring ephemeral wildflowers! It was a real lesson that there's always something to discover in the natural world around us. 

We ended as we began with delicious breakfast options from MKT:Grafton on Main Street. Many thanks to Suzanne Welch, a generous Grafton resident, who sponsored this entire fun morning. What a great group we were; it was a delightfully pleasurable morning spent sauntering in search of songs.