Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pine Grosebeaks at Gardner golf course

Today I took 4 1/2 mile walk from home to Crystal Lake cemetery, walking around the lake on the golf course, by Green Street across from Mount Wachusett Community College. There was few waterfowl on Crystal Lake, come Mallards, a Common Goldeneye and a few Canada Geese. Toward the north west side of the gold course I heard my first Pine Grosbeaks of the walk, about 15 in flight headed south . A few minutes later 7 were flying west and then moving south west. I've seen my fair of this species so far this fall, but had yet to see any up close.

I headed toward some crabapple trees I had previous seen from Green Street and finnally saw some feeding. I aproached and they remained busy "chewing" up fruit to get at the seeds, the 16 "Pine's" showed nicely all together in a small crab apple (below).

A tree full of Pine Grosbeaks

I was unable to get a digi scope photo, as I had made a slight mis-calculation when I left the house. The temp. "read" 28 f on my thermometer, so I dressed with just a light fleece top, figuring that would keep me moving. The themometer was actually on yesterday's high temp, the temp durning my walk was in the mid-teens, so my hands and wrists were rather numb...with essentially no dexterity.

Another highlite,was 3 Common Redpolls in flight and calling. These were my first redpolls of the year for me.

A couple of other non-bird observations on the walk were a few guys getting their last? golf round in of the year. At 15 f, the fairways felt like cement as I walked the course, the greens must have been just a little fast!

Romeo....the most popular guy in town...??? The list for today's walk:

Canada Goose...2
Mallard...62
Common Goldeneye...1
Red-tailed Hawk...1
Rock Pigeon...15
Mourning Dove...4
Red-bellied Woodpecker...1
Downy Woodpecker...1
Blue Jay...8
American Crow...3
Black-capped Chickadee...25
Tufted Titmouse...6
Red-breasted Nuthatch...1
White-breasted Nuthatch...4
Brown Creeper...2
American Robin...6
American Tree Sparrow...3
Dark-eyed Junco...8
Northern Cardinal...6
Pine Grosbeak...26
Common Redpoll...3
American Goldfinch...4
House Sparrow...40

5 comments:

PA-Birder said...

Pine Grosbeaks and Redpolls on the same walk. Most PA Birders would kill for either one of them!
Vern

Larry said...

I'm envious!I haven't seen either of those birds.They would both be lifers for me. I did finally get to see a Red Crossbill yesterday though.

Tom Pirro said...

If your ever going trek up this way let me know. Chances are they will continue to be reliablely found. I haven't gotten either crossbil this year, but i haven't chased them either. I had 7 more Pines on the drive to work today, they were feeding in a crab apple tree in Ashburnham...so they are quite wide spread...in north central mass and I would suspect the berkshires too.

Tom Pirro said...

Vern, Back in 1994 I (and other members of the Forbush Bird Club) "ran the table" on winter finches in north Worcester County, with the exection of Hoary Redpoll. I had gotten Evening and Pine Grosbeaks (120!) in Athol, Mass. at the Ellenwood COuntry Club, then got Siskin and Redpolls in Hardwick and both Crossbills during a walk into Gate 45 of Quabbin Res... and Bohemian Waxwings in Hardwick too! Didn't get Purple Finch , but that's really not a "winter" finch as they regularly breed in our area. I may never have a day like that again. Its been cold so far in my area, many shallow Lakes and pond are frozen and we've got a few inches of snow on the ground. Should be a fun winter, with the exception of the heating bill :((

Veery said...

A tree full of Pine Grosbeaks sounds good to me! A guess a bit of freezing is worth it! :-)