Here are some ways to experience the procession of natural wonders that occurs every spring in our watershed. Be sure to get out there with your family and create indelible memories in the minds of your children and/or grandchildren.
Woodcock mating flight
Starting in early March, visit a field or a meadow as darkness is gathering after sunset. Listen for a single, nasal “peent” call of the woodcock, which repeats every 15-30 seconds or so. Then listen for a whirring of wings and watch overhead for a woodcock flying in a big, circular upward spiral. Suddenly, the whirring of the wings will turn into a repeated high-pitched “sip, sip, sip” as the bird returns to the field. After a brief silence you will again hear the repeated “peent” call as the woodcock repeats the entire process.
In late March on the first rainy night after the snow is gone, yellow-spotted salamanders migrate from their lairs under rotting logs down to nearby wetlands and vernal pools, where they mate and produce egg masses. Contact the Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon for more information.
Yellow spotted salamander
White Suckers spawning
In mid to late April, big white suckers ascend local streams to find a gravel bed for spawning. This spectacle of nature can be observed in places such as Sucker Brook in Sharon where it flows into Lake Massapoag, and the foot bridge over Beaver Brook near the outbound commuter rail station in Sharon.
Don’t miss the warbler migration. Beginning at the end of April and running through May, join weekly bird walks guided by expert birders at Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon. Bring binoculars and/or a camera with a powerful zoom lens.