A Coronavirus-free local activity

A Coronavirus-free local activity

One appealing aspect of life in Sharon is the abundance of natural open space, which provides habitat for a wide array of wildlife. Sightings of approximately 400 species of wild plants and animals have already been documented at sharonfoc.org. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
All are invited to submit wildlife sightings at: http://www.sharonfoc.org/sightings-major-categories/animal-and-plant-sightings-in-sharon/. There are lots of good places in Sharon to go for a walk on the wild side–places such as Borderland State Park, Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, and Trustees of Reservations’ Moose Hill Farm. You can find a map of Sharon’s trails at: http://www.sharonfoc.org/sharons-hiking-trails/. Other good places include the conservation land near the junction of Morse Street and Lakeview Street, the trail that parallels Beaver Brook beginning at the cul-de-sac at the end of Sandy Ridge Circle, and the trail to King Phillips Rock off Mansfield Street.
The annual spring migration of colorful warblers and other birds will begin in April. You can anticipate when they will arrive in Sharon by visiting this web site: https://birdcast.info/live-migration-maps/. Mornings from dawn until 8:00 or so are best. If you learn to identify their songs, you will find more birds.

Beginning at the end April through late May, a group of birders meets at the

A pileated woodpecker at Moose Hill Audubon.

A pileated woodpecker at Moose Hill Audubon.

Moose Hill Audubon HQ parking lot on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6:00 for an easy walk around the Billings Loop. You can learn a lot from them. They typically spot 15 or 20 species of birds in an hour or two. Some of these species, such as scarlet tanagers, bluebirds, indigo buntings, and various warblers, are very colorful. I assume the birders will practice social distancing this year.

Woodcocks have begun their courtship flights every evening at dusk in the fields on the undeveloped side of Gavins Pond Road. You can see them silhouetted against the gloaming sky about 15 to 30 minutes after sunset. You can learn what to listen and watch for at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeRgumMIJHw.
Also check out the annual spawning runs of white suckers in Beaver Brook and Sucker Brook (which enters Lake Massapoag near the entrance to the Community Center). The spawning runs typically occur for two or three days in mid to late April. Here’s a link to a video of white suckers spawning in Beaver Brook below the foot bridge near the tennis courts at the outbound train station: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru_KsfE4ZJQ.
Several years ago I bought a butterfly bush from Sharon View Nursery. I dug a hole in my back yard, lined it with compost, and planted the bush. It has thrived. Every summer it attracts butterflies, moths and other insects. Sometimes I take my camera and stand near the bush, waiting for something interesting to come along. That’s how I got the attached photo of a snowberry clearwing moth.
So take advantage of Sharon’s natural resources. Get out there and see what images you can capture with your camera. Then share them with the community! Remember, the best things in life are free!