An ovenbird in a tangle of brush at Pulaski Park this morning marked the first “new species” I’ve logged downtown in quite a while. With spring migration heating up I’d hoped to find more warblers. Overall it was quiet, though, with steady rain and cameos from a yellow warbler, a sharp-shinned hawk, a northern flicker and a belted kingfisher.
Author Archive for Greg Saulmon
Greg Saulmon is a writer, editor and photographer living in downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Peregrine falcon on Front Street
Received a message in December that a peregrine falcon has been spending a lot of time around Open Square.
On a weekend morning in early January I took a spin through my old neighborhood on my way to run an errand. It didn’t take long to find the falcon, feasting on a pigeon on top of a building on Front Street.
I didn’t have my ideal photo equipment in my truck. But, I did have a camera body and a 200mm lens — with some significant cropping, that was good enough to document the sighting.
Immature red-tailed hawk on Sargeant Street
I like to take different routes to work because I feel like it invites discovery. On Wednesday morning I decided to take a spin by the old Parsons Paper Mill site on Sargeant Street. Nearly a decade after a fire destroyed much of the mill, a neighboring business is expanding onto the site. The tangle of brick and machine left…
Redstarts in Pulaski Park
A walk through Pulask Park this afternoon turned up another spring and summer regular: American redstarts. There were a number of females today, flitting between low brush at the edge of the park and a maple tree along one of the walkways. The females were very vocal, but the only male I spotted was way at the back of the…
Spring sightings in Holyoke: Warblers, towhee and more
The last week brought a few new spring arrivals to the city, including two species I haven’t seen downtown before: a chestnut-sided warbler in Pulaski Park and a barn swallow mingling with tree and northern rough-winged swallows over the second-level canal near Lyman Street. Also in Pulaski Park this week was an eastern towhee — a bird I’ve only seen…
The hawks are downtown, but where is their nest?
Holyoke’s resident downtown red-tailed hawks are still in the neighborhood — but, well into the nesting season, I still haven’t found this year’s nest. They spent the past two years on a fire escape at High and Dwight streets. In 2013, they nested at Open Square. And, in 2012, it was another fire escape, at Dwight and Race streets. This…
Woodpeckers on a frigid afternoon
I headed out to the Forestdale Cemetery in Holyoke this afternoon to see if any owls are hanging around there this winter. The cemetery gates were already closed to vehicles when I arrived, so I parked on a nearby side street and planned to take a stroll around the grounds. I didn’t get very far. As I got out of…