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

"WHAMY"

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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Backyard Bluebirds 2/23

Karin and I were fortunate to have up to 9 or 10 bluebirds feeding at our suet feeders over the weekend. Many of the prime fruit bearing trees and shrubs are likely close to being picked clear and these bluebirds were enjoying a high energy suet banquet. It was a thrill to view these handsome birds at close range!










Monday, December 9, 2013

Misc Wandering 12/7

Saturday morning, at the Fitchburg Airport,  I was rewarded by closeup sighting of a small group of snow buntings near the main parking area. Also present were 25 Horned Larks.
2 of 12 Snow Bunting at the Fitchburg AP

A little closer view
Later in the day I stopped by Crystal Lake in Gardner, which was 95% frozen over a week ago, but had since opened up a bit. The lake was about 40% open and 3 scaup-like ducks were near a small group of Common Goldeneyes some 800+ meters away. Upon zooming the scope to 40X, 2 drake and 1 hen Redhead Ducks could be discerned, the males clearly showing bluish bills, black "bow and stern", gray mid body (sides and back) and of course redheads. This was only my 2nd sighting of this species in the North Worcester County area, the last being in late Oct. of 2005, also on Crystal Lake (3 males).

Later in the Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area I was fortunate to see a Northern Shrike just NW of Lake Dennison.
A wintery scene near Lake Dennison

A "poorish" digi-bin shot of the Northern Shrike

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crystal Lake, Gardner 11/12

Before work there was a Long-tailed Duck (formerly called an Oldsquaw)on Crystal Lake in Gardner, it was only my 3rd or forth record of this species in Gardner.
Female Long-tailed Duck on Crystal Lake

another view of the Long-tailed Duck
Also present were 2 Buffleheads and 9 Common Goldeneyes.