Sunday, April 8, 2007

High Ridge WMA 4/8/07 (Leucistic Am. Robin)

A cold start this morning, 28f with an over night low of 25f, it felt more like Christmas that Easter and a 10MPH NW wind to boot. I spent just over an hour and half birding the Smith Street area of High Ridge WMA in Gardner, Ma.. The recent cold snap has slowed up the movement of spring birds, there were lots of Juncos, a few American Tree Sparrows and many Song Sparrow (both territorial and migrants). A few nice highlights were a passing Northern Harrier (Male) and a single Fox Sparrow.
The Smith Street Marsh

Good numbers of American Robins were working the open areas in the corn fields, some are very dark birds (perhaps of the Canadian Martime race). The bird photographed below first appeared to be head-less against the snow. While leucistic robins are very uncommon, I have seen perhaps a 1/2 dozen over the years. I was fortunate to get a few shots, "digi-binned" through my 8X32 Pentax binoculars.

Leucistic American Robin
Leucistic American Robin

This morning's list:

Canada Goose 2
Mallard 12
Hooded Merganser 5
Common Merganser 3
Northern Harrier 1
American Woodcock 1
Ring-billed Gull 3
Herring Gull 10
Mourning Dove 3
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 5
Common Raven 1
Black-capped Chickadee 8
Tufted Titmouse 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Brown Creeper 2
American Robin 75
American Tree Sparrow 4
Fox Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 40
Dark-eyed Junco 20
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Common Grackle 30
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
American Goldfinch 4

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