Monday, April 4, 2016

Feeder Birds 4/1 to 4/3

Sunday's 4/3/2016 snow brought good numbers of birds to our deck feeders and surrounding yard. Here are photos of some of the species present, a few notable missed photo ops were 2016 firsts of Chipping Sparrow and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Red Maple flowers on 4/1

This robin is taking a frigid "anal blast" of cold air.

Same bird as above in a more dignified pose.

Another lighter male, which often battles the previous for the territorial rights of the deck. 

A Blue Jay dropped in for a quick "grab and go"

Dark-eyed Juncos should remain for most of April.

The male 1/2 of a local pair, hopefully they'll nest close by.

White-breasted Nuthatch on our perching post.

This MODO looking for seed on the deck rail.
Tufted Titmouse working a seed

My 1st yard Northern Flicker was noted 4/1, first by its call then visually.
House Finch male

Blacked-capped Chickadee working a sunflower seed outside the kitchen window

a dorsal view of one of the several Downy Woodpeckers that frequent our deck.

a Hairy Woodpecker working the cage

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker, on the "sapsucker" tree (a basswood), the drillings are from previous years, though
a sapsucker did show up on sunday.

We had a nice assortment of American Goldfinches, this is a fun time of year to observe their transitioning into breeding plumage. Here are a few of 25-30 that showed during Sunday's snow.

Monday, March 14, 2016

High Ridge WMA (East side) 3/12/2016

The east side of High Ridge Wild Life Management Area is a section that I (shamefully) have not explored in over 25 years I have birded and walked this area, other than occasionally checking Whitmanville Reservoir from South Ashburnham Road. The trail, off Old Gardner Road, lead to a stream that cuts through a small ravine which I followed till I reached the RR Tracks just east of the East Gardner Road Marsh.

While the woods were pretty "dead" today, later in the season this area should be a good location to find nesting warblers such as; Ovenbird,  Louisiana Watherthrush,  Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, and Magnolia Warblers. Other song birds I'd expect nesting would be Hermit Thrush, Winter wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Golden-crowned Kinglet and of course Red-eyed Vireo.
An attractive stream, good habitat for Louisiana Waterthrush

Old "tin wear" near an old cellar hole.

Another view of this quick moving stream.

A minnow with a wound/growth on its back.

Glacial erratic

Red-tailed Hawk, also a Red-shouldered Hawk was heard calling from high overhead.

An oncoming freight train, the tracks thorough the WMA are active, its always good to be aware.
Bush whacking from the rr tracks eventually lead me to a large beaver impoundment,  to the east. The spruce grove that surrounds the pond would appear to be good habitat from nesting Golden-crowned Kinglets, Magnolia Warbler and Red-breasted Nuthatches.
A nice Spruce Grove, near a large beaver pond just west of Whitmanville Res. 

Signs of beaver all along the shore line.

An open view of the pond, looking west,

A pair of Common Mergansers on Whitmanville Res.

The spill way from Whitmanville Res.
The bird list from this 4 1/2 mile meander through the woods:

Wood Duck.... 2
Mallard (Northern)...2
Common Merganser (North American)....2
Red-shouldered Hawk....1
Red-tailed Hawk....1
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)....3
Pileated Woodpecker.....1
American Crow.....3
Common Raven.....2
Black-capped Chickadee.... 15
Tufted Titmouse.... 8
Red-breasted Nuthatch....5
White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern)......6
Brown Creeper.....5
Golden-crowned Kinglet....3
American Robin....5
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)....1
Northern Cardinal....2
House Finch....2

Friday, November 13, 2015

Quabbin Gate 40 11/8

We had a perfect Sunday walk at Gate 40 on the 8th, more of a general "poke around" out and back walk to Dana Center then continuing to a large marsh. One high light was gathering some oyster mushrooms which Karin made into a great soup on Tuesday.
The pictorial highlights are below:

A toothed "shelf" fungi, not the oysters we took home.

There were several robins in this stand of winter berry

We saw a few wasp nests

A few autumn meadowhawks were seen flying about.

Karin investigates an old foundation.

Sumac by the road side

Another wasp nest that was torn open

The "round stone" foundation, in Dana Center, with some recent restoration work.

Karin viewing the old school house cellar hole.

Oriental Bittersweet doing what it does best, on a sapling.

This bittersweet vine was supporting the attack of a tall red pine

roots had apparently grown from the tree bark over the dead wood into the ground, for additional support I assume.

One of a few a drake Wood Ducks on the marsh.

A few Oak leaves were holding their color

Another colorful Oak leaf.

One of several Blue Jays near Dana Center
Another foundation with a nice place to "duck out" on a rainy day.

This skein of Canadas flew over, one had an all white head.