Sunday, May 13, 2007

High Ridge WMA (Westminster) 5/12/07

There was a nice variety of recent arrivals this morning along Chapel Street at the Westminster side of High Ridge Wildlife Management Area. I was trying to put some time onto my "Fitchburg 5" breeding bird atlas block for 2007 but, at the same time enjoy some of the new arrivals. There were many Tree Swallows, Chipping Sparrows and Baltimore Orioles along the tree lined road. Bobolinks were already getting down to the business of setting up territory in the hay fields.

Hayfield and barn along Chapel Street

A few confirmed species added to the Breeding Bird Atlas were nest building Amercian Robin and Tree Swallows and there were Rock Pigeons nesting inside an old barn. I didn't make it down to a marshy beaver pond to confirm the nesting Great Blue Herons, in past years there has been between 6 and 17 active nests. There were several probable breeders (within the designated "safe dates" such as Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers, Eastern Phoebe, Cardinal, American Crows and a noisey pair of Common Ravens (possible breeders).

While there was nothing terribly unusual I had a nice look at a few Northern Parulas, White-crowned Sparrow and heard my first Black-billed Cuckoo of the year. A Scarlet Tanager showed nicely, down low, in one of the road-side trees, but wasn't quite as cooperative as the Rose-breasted Grosbeak "digi-binned" below.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

This mornings list:
Canada Goose 3
Wild Turkey 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 9
Black-billed Cuckoo 1
Downy Woodpecker 3
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Least Flycatcher 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
Eastern Kingbird 2
Warbling Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 8
American Crow 6
Common Raven 2
Tree Swallow 23
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Tufted Titmouse 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
House Wren 5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Eastern Bluebird 2
Wood Thrush 5
American Robin 15
Gray Catbird 2
European Starling 2
Nashville Warbler 2
Northern Parula 2
Yellow Warbler 2
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Black-and-white Warbler 2
American Redstart 1
Ovenbird 6
Common Yellowthroat 6
Chipping Sparrow 19
Savannah Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 6
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 6
Bobolink 20
Red-winged Blackbird 2
Common Grackle 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 7
Baltimore Oriole 15
Purple Finch 3
American Goldfinch 4

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