Sunday, October 7, 2007

Northern Wheatear 10/07 (Orange, Ma.)

The Northern Wheatear, first found by Mike Polana on Friday 10/5/07, was still present this morning between 7:30 and when I left the area at 8:20am. It perched atop an orange snow plow shortly after I arrived and showed nicely for 8 birders that where present. It moved from the plow to a short fence in front of the airport office, to a picinic table then to edge of the runway and to the back of a truck.

Northern Wheatear perched on a picinic table.

After having nice looks a few birders left and the rest of us moved to a different vantage point scan the airfield for other species. Upon walking back to my car, alone, I noticed the bird had moved closer to parking lot and I managed to snap a few more digi-bin photos though my 8x binoculars (below).

Wheatear foraging near a pile of scrap wood.

Perched atop the fence (note the differnce in buffy color from the picture above and the previous..which are much lighter, sometimes the angle of view, lighting and exposure can give very different impressions as to coloration of the same individual). With subtle colors, caution should always be used when making judgements.

How long will the stay in the area is alway a question that might come up, and it did. With the recent warm and summery weather it is not a surprise that it did not move Friday or Saturday nights. But with a cold front coming through today it may very well move on tonight and today could be the last day its present. Typically this species does not tend to linger very long, especially in inland locations! Time will tell.


Tom Pirro said...

So much for the prediction the bird would leave last night. Its still present today 10/8! Updates on bird sighting for massachusetts can be found under the sighting link on

Larry said...

it looks like you had much better views than of the last ones we saw in CT.-I was lucky to see a male in breeding plumage which made it much easier to identify.-Otherwise, I wouldn't have been confident with what I saw from the distance it was at.-Even had heat coming up from the pavement disrupting our view.