Friday, May 18, 2007

Peak Migration is here (week of 5/13)

The reports over the MASSBIRD listserv on Wednesday 5/15 were very very impressive, hundreds and hundreds of migrant song birds were grounded on west winds along the Massachusetts coast. Being "grounded" myself, at work, it can a little more than frustrating when reading the great reports from Plum Island, Mt. Auburn Cemetery and Cape Ann. When birders such as Rick Heil , having birded Plum Island for over 30 years, makes the following comment ..... "Amazing, incredible, awesome! The anticipated fallout of warblers overnight far exceeded expectations, the likes of which I have never witnessed here. " ..... you know you've missed something really special.
However, on 5/16, I got a nice taste of spring migration right up the street from home in Gardner. In little over an hour's time I managed to tally 67 species which included 19 species of wood warblers, mostly on Raymond Street. Lots of Balitmore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers, Rosebreasted Grosbeaks and a Black-billed mention a few others. The hilight for me was a beautifull Bay-breasted Warbler, a species that hasn't been reported much in recent years in Worcester County.
Chestnut-sided Warbler

I have had a few nice yard birds this week too which included Magnolia, Wilson's, Yellow-rumped, Nashville Warblers....a lateish Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a singing Swainson's Thrush.
Black and White Warbler (female)
Baltimore Oriole

Heavier rains toward the end of the week have grounded migrant shorebirds, which will linger in flooded agricultural fields...such as this Solitary Sandpiper "digi-scoped" in Groton.
Solitary Sandpiper
Pink Alzalea along Kelton Street in Gardner

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