Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gardner Birds 4/11/07 C. Loon back on Lake Wompanoag

I took a prework drive past the MWCC yesterday morning (4/11) to check for the previous day's Shrike, there was a bird "teed" atop a tree up near the campus pond, but this was an American Kestrel being harrassed by a few Blue Jays. Continuing up Raymond Street I noticed several Wild Turkeys, in a back yard, one was a nice tom displaying to several females. I made a few road side stops for a quick look and listen and I was able to pick up my first Purple Finches of the year.

Most lakes and ponds without a strong flowing inlet are still completely ice covered, but Lake Wompanoag, with inlet at the south end, was about 50% open and a small number of waterfowl were present. Two Ring-neched Ducks, 5 Common Mergansers, a few Canada Geese and after a few mintues of scanning a Common Loon surfaced. This bird kept diving and resurfacing with a medium sized fish, loons have been breeding on this lake since at least 1995. I did not have time to study the bird for colored leg bands (many of the breeding loons in Massachusetts are banded) but I assumed it was one of the summer residents, which typically return very soon after "ice out".
Ring-necked Ducks on Lake Wompanoag

At the Wompanoag Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary (MAS) I found only one Tree Swallow atop a Bluebird nest boxe. Perhaps this species has had to retreat, do the recent cold snap. A few weeks back I had seen about 300 along the Conn. River just south of Hinsdales, NH and about 250 along the Nashua River in Pepperell, Ma.

Birds from (4/11/07) AM :

Canada Goose 2
Ring-necked Duck 2
Common Merganser 5
Ruffed Grouse 1
Wild Turkey 9
Common Loon 1
American Kestrel 1
Mourning Dove 4
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 10
American Crow 3
Tree Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
American Robin 10
European Starling 4
Song Sparrow 5
White-throated Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco 12
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Common Grackle 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Purple Finch 2
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 10

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