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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Exploring Boston: Winter Birds on the Mystic

The Mystic River is a short waterway north of Boston that more or less parallels the lower end of the more-famous Charles River; both empty, side by side, into Boston Harbor.

Wikipedia says its name derives from the Wampanoag word "muhs-uhtuq", which translates to "big river." In an Algonquian language, "Missi-Tuk" means "a great river whose waters are driven by waves", alluding to the original tidal nature of the river. (The Mystic now has a flood-control dam that segregates its saline, tidal mouth from the fresh, tide-less upper river.)

During the "polar vortex" cold snap, the fresh-water portions of the Mystic froze solid, but with warmer weather, the flowing portions of the river have opened up again, and the local water birds have responded.

In addition to the usual gulls, the Mystic's open water near my apartment has seen an explosion of swans, canada geese, buffleheads, and large numbers of mallards and other common ducks.

A few cell phone snaps of the more unusual winter birds:

A hawk, probably a red tail:

A night heron, standing on the ice of  a small tributary of the Mystic:

 digital zoom (alas):

Swan on the partially-frozen river: