Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gardner/Fitchburg Birds 4/28

It was a foggy start this morning, even though I couldn't start birding until about 8AM. There did not appear to be a big influx of new migrants since I covered the same area a few mornings ago. Two Common Loons were on Lake Wompanoag, seemingly suspended in fog as they cruised across the calm water. Yellow-rumped Warblers were heard at several stops along Eaton and Raymond Streets and a few Pine Warblers was "it" for wood warblers....NO Black and White nor Northern Waterthrush! Tree Swallows were swarming around nest boxes near Mount Wachusett Community College and the Wampanoag MAS and nice Tom Turkey was displaying in the middle of the field. No big surprises but there was a lot of bird activity and song nearly every where I stopped.
Common Loon in the fog

At Crystal Lake the two Red-breasted Mergansers were still present, a Common Loon and Red-bellied Woodpecker was calling from an adjacent wood lot.

Hermit Thrush (digi-binned)
I ended up spent most of the day officiating at a track meet at Fitchburg State College but managed to pickup my my first Chimney Swift of the year...especially difficult while marking javlin and discus throws! A great surprise was finding 3 Ruddy Ducks on Snow Mill Pond, in west Fitchburg, which included a breeding plumaged drake! As far as I know Ruddy Ducks are quite uncommon in Worcester County during the spring. I managed a few indentifiable digi-scope images below.

drake Ruddy Duck on Snow Mill Pond
drake and hen Ruddys resting (note the tail of another hen in front of the drake)

Morning Bird list:
Canada Goose 2
Wood Duck 1
Mallard 4
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Wild Turkey 5
Common Loon 3
Killdeer 1
Mourning Dove 5
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 5
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Eastern Phoebe 4
Blue-headed Vireo 2
Blue Jay 16
American Crow 5
Tree Swallow 20
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 24
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 5
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Brown Creeper 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 18
European Starling 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 18
Pine Warbler 4
Eastern Towhee 1
Chipping Sparrow 12
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 14
White-throated Sparrow 5
Northern Cardinal 6
Red-winged Blackbird 4
Common Grackle 7
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
Purple Finch 2
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 21
House Sparrow 4

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