Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gardner to Ipswich 5/19/07

As part of the Massachusetts Audbon's Birdathon, I started birding at 5am (in 40 degree rainy weather) in Gardner, hitting a few familiar stops to pickup some territorial birds, before poking along to the Newburyport area. This would be sort of "a leisurely" big day affair, as I stopped back at home, for coffee, after birding near Lake Wompanoag (where I managed my only Canada Warbler of the day). In my back yard I had Magnolia, Parula, Chestnut-sided, Black and White and Wilson's Warblers but missed the Ruby-crowned Kinglet that had been in the apple trees for a few days.

Great Meadow's Refuge in Concord was fairly quiet, no rails, but I picked up Hooded Merganser and Cliff Swallow. At Hanscom Airport in Bedford was a distant Meadowlark, but no Upland I was off to the Newburyport area. I had hoped that the massive fallout of passerines would still be lingering on Plum Island, but it turned out I had more warblers in my backyard than I'd tallied on the island during the day. There were some nice birds on the island today...American Avocet, Common Moorhen, Sora, Roseate Terns, White-rumped Sandpipers and White-crowned Sparrows and on the way off the island was a Whimbrel opposite the Plum Island airfield.

Oak Hill Cemetery, in Newburyport, had a nice assortment of songbirds including Blackpoll and Bay-breasted Warblers , and a few Swainson's Thrushes. I picked up a few "cheap birds" I'd missed during the day such as Flicker and White-breasted Nuthatch.

There were 4 Wilson's Phalaropes in the pool opposite Pikul's Farm, off Rte 1A in Rowley and a fly over Glossy Ibis, but no Orchard Orioles. I was fortunate to have a Green Heron fly over the car as I headed toward Ipswich. On the drive out to Great Neck, in Ipswich, as the birdathon 6PM deadline approached, I couldn't help but think about all the "easy stuff" I had missed during the day.... Blue-gray Gnatcatcher , Eastern Bluebird, Winter and Carolina Wrens, Great-crested Flycatcher and Purple Finch (to name a few)....but the Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Below) was a great surprise at 5:30PM that was feeding 100 feet off Jeffery's Neck Road.

There were very good numbers of Northern Parula, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue Warblers, in the few thickets I stopped at, on Great Neck but I was unable to add any more new species before the 6 PM birdathon deadline. I did add Orchard Oriole, Purple Sandpiper and Laughing Gull, in Manchester for the day list. List totals were 136 species for the birdathon (6PM friday to 6PM Saturday) and 133 species for the day.

Yellow-crowned Nightheron (Digi-binned pentax 8x32)
Yellow-crowned Nightheron (Digi-scoped Swift 20x60)

Today's list:
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Northern Shoveler

Green-winged Teal
Common Eider
White-winged Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Green Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Glossy Ibis
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Common Moorhen
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Phalarope
Laughing Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Roseate Tern
Common Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Kingbird
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Swainson's Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

**Species seen/heard friday 5/18 night during the Birdathon but not on 5/19: were Amercian Bittern, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Woodcock, Common Nighthawk, Hairy Woodpecker and Horned Lark. All from the Gardner Airport, in Templeton, Ma. Also, was another American bittern at High Ridge WMA in Gardner.