Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fitchburg Airport 10/4/2014

 During the rainy Saturday afternoon (with east wind), I stopped by a few local lakes and the Fitchburg Airport in the hopes that something "good" had been grounded. No uncommon waterbirds had put down on either Round Meadow Pond, Crystal Lake, Notown Reservoir or Whalom Lake.

 At Fitchburg Airport I scanned the runways for about 15 minutes with "only" 20 Killdeer to show for the effort, then I heard a shrill "voice" or two from low the sky. I couldn't find the birds in flight, but after re-scanning the area I was able to find 2 American Golden Plovers, that had likely flown into view from the south end of the airport. They stayed in view for several minutes as they fed in the short grass in typical "stop and go" plover fashion.

A Merlin at Crystal lake Cemetery

A nice array of fall color

One of two Am. Golden Plover

Two Am. Golden Plover "loafing" at Fitchburg Airport.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Crystal Lake (Gardner, Ma.) 5/16/2014

On Mother's Day Karin and I saw an Eastern Screech Owl peeking out of its roost/nesting hole at the Crystal Lake Cemetery. This species is fairy uncommon in the hill towns of northern Worcester County, so needless to say I/we were thrilled to see this cute little owl, especially in daylight. Before work, 5/16, I stopped by and it was again looking outside, so I was able to snap a photo.

An Eastern Screech Owl nicely camouflaged in a large mature oak. 

This pair of White-wing Scoters was not completely unexpected, especially with a fair stiff SE wind, regardless I was thrilled.
Female and Male White-winged Scoters

Friday, May 9, 2014

East Quabbin 5/4/2014

Last Sunday I lead the Forbush Bird Club's East Quabbin auto tour, we drove from gate 35 in New Salem through North Dana, Dana Center, the shoreline in what was once Greenwich, Ma. onto gate 43 eventually exited at gate 45. The roads were in decent shape, however some skill full driving was needed in a few soft sections of road. A total of 66 species were seen and/or heard, low for this trip but any day long trip inside the Quabbin area is a good day...a moose sighting made it even better! A few photos and list follows.

A modest sized moose not too far from Dana Center.

The group while scanning a wetland at the east branch of Fever Brook.

We saw many Easten Towhee's, and heard even more through out the day.
This "guy" showed nicely!

We had a little rain, but this loon, nor our group, minded it too much.

Some "dam nice" beaver work!

A 2 tier "job" with a "kit pool" in the middle.

Many Canada Geese choose the 2nd floor for domestic chores.

A few Hermit Thrushes fed in the open near gate 43.

...and a few Veerys shared the same patch with the Hermits. 

A Great Crested Flycatcher.

A distant Belted Kingfisher

The sun returned as the day closed out, it would be nice to stay till dark,
but the key must be returned to Quabbin HQ by 5 PM.

Species Count
Canada Goose 11
Wood Duck 8 Mallard 6
Hooded Merganser 4
Common Merganser 5
Ruffed Grouse 1
Wild Turkey 1
Common Loon 6
Double-crested Cormorant 4
Great Blue Heron 2
Turkey Vulture 3
Bald Eagle 3
Red-tailed Hawk 3
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Ring-billed Gull 2
Mourning Dove 2
Belted Kingfisher 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 7
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 4
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Eastern Phoebe 7
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Blue-headed Vireo 9
Blue Jay 14
American Crow 3
Common Raven 1
Tree Swallow 35
Barn Swallow 8
Black-capped Chickadee 21
Tufted Titmouse 5
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
Brown Creeper 2
Winter Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Veery 4
Hermit Thrush 7
Wood Thrush 13
American Robin 4
Gray Catbird 16
Ovenbird 10
Northern Waterthrush 1
Black-and-white Warbler 2
Common Yellowthroat 2
American Redstart 1
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 7
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Palm Warbler (Yellow) 24
Pine Warbler 32
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 6
Black-throated Green Warbler 21
Eastern Towhee 21
Field Sparrow 1
Chipping Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 3
Swamp Sparrow 7
White-throated Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 8
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Common Grackle 10
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Purple Finch 6
American Goldfinch 1

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Early April Sightings

Winter is finally  releasing its grip on northern Worcester County, its been a late spring....last Saturday I saw people ice fishing on few local pond and lakes. Friday evening there was single male Lesser Scaup feeding in a small section of open water on Round Meadow Pond.
The Scaup was gone on Saturday morning but the two swallows cruising over a small section of open water on Round Meadow Pond (still 75% ice covered)was not a big surprise. The fact both were not Tree Swallows was a surprise, one Tree and the other a Barn Swallow, the Barn likely my earliest arrival date for the area!.

Today at Sterling Peat were several Tree Swallows and one Northern Rough-rough winged Swallow, so 3 swallow species in the area by 4/6! An Osprey showed nicely at Sterling Peat twice hitting the water and once catching a fish.
Scanning the water

beaming in on the target


Returning to the surface

air born

But Nothin ... the Great Blue "crashes" the photo and the Ring-necked Ducks seemed unimpressed 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bluebirds Conitinue at Feeding Station 2/27/2014

The local "gang" of Eastern Bluebirds have continued to visit our feeding stations, feasting off the suet that Karin chops and sets out on the deck. On Thursday with temps at 2F a group of 16 huddle tightly, in 3 groups, while waiting for the chopped suet to be distributed. Here is few photos.
Bluebird formation including flankers, backfield and front line.