Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Camping At Beartown State Forest

I headed up to Beartown State Forest in Monterey, Massachusetts to do a little camping this weekend. The weather was a bit chilly but I managed to avoid the rain during my stay. There are only 12 campsites which are available on a first come basis in the month of April. I chose a camp site that was located near the shore of Benedict Pond. The shoreline of the pond is mostly undeveloped. There is a boat launch, small swimming area, and a few the campsites, but no private residences.

On the day of my arrival I walked a scenic trail that circles around the pond. I spotted a Pied-billed Grebe swimming around the pond and occasionally diving for food. There were Great Blue Herons feeding along the shoreline in one of the coves and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker making its presence known by tapping on a nearby tree with its own distinctive style. I was able to see both the male and female during my stay. The female has a mostly white throat but the the throat on the male is a vibrant red color. It's always a treat for me to see them because I don't see them all that often near my home.
Early the next morning as I was walking towards the campground exit I saw a Hermit Thrush perched. It was perched on a branch just a few feet above one of the portalets as it quietly serenaded the campers.
My cousin came to visit me the following morning. He was intrigued by the two lodges on the far right end of this beaver pond. We decided to return at sunset to see if we could get a glimpse of the beavers themselves. We spent 6 hours hiking several of the trails in the area before returning to the beaver pond. There were four beavers gathering sticks and performing other beaverly duties. I used to think that beavers ate fish but they are strictly herbivores. One of the forest rangers told me that beavers have at least two rooms in their lodge. One is used for drying off and the other is the living quarters where the television and surround sound stereo are located.
We noticed a Canada Goose sitting on a patch of grass next to a big rock near one of the beaver lodges. It looks as though it might be nesting. Trumpeter Swans and Canada Geese have both been known to use beaver lodges for their nesting sites.
click to play
Here is a short clip of the singing Hermit Thrush.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Larry, I envy your getting to watch the Hermit Thrush sing. They nest and sing every summer up at Hasty. I've seen the birds but never while they were singing. It's my favorite bird song.

Chris said...

Muskrat before and now beavers... man I'll give anything to see them again. I've seen one in Halifax during a meeting but never got any chance to take pictures!!! Well done Larry!

Lana Gramlich said...

Very cool on the beavers! Looks like a really nice place to camp, btw. There's allegedly a beaver lodge at Northlake Nature Center (down here,) but the powers that be are pretty quiet about where it's actually located & we've had no luck just randomly searching for it.

Dan Huber said...

great looking campsite Larry

I just saw several Hermit thrush at NW park yesterday.

Dawn Fine said...

ahh I could listen to the Hermit thrush sing all day!
So did u check out the stereo and tv that the beaver had in its den?

Larry said...

Lynne-That's true for me too. I usually see them or hear them but not both at the same time.

Chris-Maybe I should change my blog name to the Wild World of Rodents.These animals are interesting to watch in action.

Lana-They seem to be fairly common around here but I'm starting to realize that they are mostly nocturnal.

forestal-I guess they are moving their way in.Some years I see them into the wintere but I only saw a few this winter.

Dawn-Of course!-we sat and watched episodes of Leave it to Beaver.

Kathie Brown said...

What fun Larry! Love your sense of humor!

Bruce Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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