Thursday, December 6, 2007

Today's commute Gardner/Groton, MA. 12/06/2007

A handsome male Pine Grosbeak "digi-binned" from work today in Groton, Ma.

I have been looking for Pine Grosbeaks and Bohemian Waxwings during my commute to work each day, basically glancing in areas with concertrations of crab apple and other fruiting trees. While it appears the bulk of the Bohemians are still north of MAssachusetts, I've been doing ok with the "Pines". There were a 8 grosbeaks yesterday and one today along with a Snow Bunting (seen in flight) near Mount Wachusett Community College (Gardner). On monday 12/3 , during the snow storm, there were 7 working on fruit in a front yard near Ashburnham center.
Today, when I drove into work, in Groton, Ma., there were about a dozen "Pines" perched and feeding in one of several berry trees near the building. I stopped and took a few photos of a handsome male (above).
I recall a large incursion of this species back in the winter of 1993/1994 of which there seemed to be very few males, I'd venture to say about 1 in 50. This year there seems to be a decent percentage of adult males, perhaps 20%. Today's Groton "Pines" were the first I'd seen in Groton since 1998. There are wide spread reports coming from Essex county, northern Worcester County, the Quabbin region, Western Mass., southern New Hampshire and limited reports from Conn. and Rhode Island. Rather than chase across the state to see these grosbeaks it might be best to look locally, in crab apple and other fruiting trees.

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