Sunday, June 3, 2007

Ashburnham Birds 6/03/07 (part 2)

I walked a large sand pit in the Ashburnham 3 block this morning (actually the sand pit area is in Winchendon), after birding off Old County Road. Most know sand pits can be quite productive for birding as the edges can be good for species such as Indio Bunting, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow and Nashville and Prairie Warbler, to name a few. The steep sides can be good for Bank Swallows and Belted Kingfishers to excavate their nest holes in the sand or clay. Of course red-necks (not Grebe , Phalaropes nor Stints) also frequent sand pits, and are known to sometimes breed in these locales.

While I did not actually see any Red-necks this morning, I could hear them from a distance (on buzzing dirt bikes before I arrived), but they (2 I think) had vanished by the time I arrived just like those pesky Ivory-billed Woodpeckers down south. I have some photographic evidence (and better than Cornell's) below......

Reck-neck fire

Carefully review the contents of the above fire, yes it was still smoldering, for Red-neck evidence:

#1.) A tire ... for a long lasting fire ...helps keep the bugs away.

#2.) That propane cylider to right of center...what more can I say.

#3.) Empty beer bottles (nearly always domestic varieties)...and a "forty" to boot.

#4.) Apparently newspaper is too flamable and dangerous to burn...that stuff could be leathal.

More Emptys (some serious dranken going on)

The sad part for the Belted Kingfisher that took the time excavate a nest hole (below) at this location is the dirt bikers used the wall of the sand bank as a"banked corner" coming just a few feet from the nest hole opening. Obviously this bird had to move on.

Belted Kingfisher nest hole (upper center) and dirt bike tracks.

Later I did find an active Kingfisher nest in another sand pit, that did not appear to be used as a "rec" area.

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