Monday, June 11, 2007

Gardner Birds (Fitch 2 Block) 6/09/07

Saturday morning (from 5AM to 8AM)I did some local birding in the Fitchburg 2 block of the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas II. This block has a wide variety of habitats most of downtown Gardner and much of South Gardner. There are several ponds, suburban and city streets, forests and wetlands.

At Crystal Lake Cemetery there was at least one pair of Eastern Kingbirds by the lake shore, Baltimore Orioles, Song Sparrows and a Carolina Wren calling from a near by powerline cut. A Common Loon called from the north end of Crystal Lake, in the Fitchburg 1 block, sometimes a loon can be found here during the breeding season. It maybe one of the Lake Wompanoag Birds or an unpaired bird, do to the fog I could not see the bird to look for colored leg bands.

Off Saunders Road I located a White-breasted Nuthatch's nest, actually I found it last week, while walking with my friend Laura. Today, it was carrying a large dragonfly...a darner of some type...into the slash in a tree, the nestlings could be heard chirping when the adult arrived.

At the end of Linus Allain Ave. is a small industrial park that has a few nice wetlands, one of which has 5 active Great Blue Heron nests which had young. A pair of Black-billed Cuckoos was a nice find, an Alder Flycacther was calling (Alders are more common is this part of Worcester County than Willows.) and I had a great look at a Great-crested Flycatcher. One Northern Rough-winged Swallow repeatedly entered a small hole in the bottom of a "semi" trailer, I assume it has a nest inside. The snapping turtle below was laying eggs on top of a sand pile adjacent to the wetland.

Snapping Turtle

Off Rte 2A, in South Gardner, there are a few good sized marshes that may have rails, but there is a a lot of traffic making hearing anything difficult. This was toward the end of my birding, but even at 7:30 Am there is a good deal of traffic. There were Common Grackles feeding fledglings, Red-winged Blackbirds (carrying food), copulating flickers, and a distant Pileated Woodpecker calling and drumming.

The bird list:

Great Blue Heron 10
Rock Pigeon 16
Mourning Dove 12
Black-billed Cuckoo 2
Chimney Swift 6
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Alder Flycatcher 2
Eastern Phoebe 3
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Eastern Kingbird 6
Warbling Vireo 3
Red-eyed Vireo 10
Blue Jay 3
American Crow 6
Tree Swallow 6
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 11
Tufted Titmouse 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Carolina Wren 1
House Wren 3
Veery 1
Wood Thrush 2
American Robin 32
Gray Catbird 19
European Starling 41
Cedar Waxwing 15
Yellow Warbler 6
Pine Warbler 1
Ovenbird 2
Common Yellowthroat 3
Scarlet Tanager 1
Chipping Sparrow 7
Song Sparrow 9
Northern Cardinal 4
Bobolink 2
Red-winged Blackbird 13
Common Grackle 28
Brown-headed Cowbird 6
Baltimore Oriole 5
House Finch 4
American Goldfinch 18
House Sparrow 12

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