Saturday, October 3, 2009

Neighborhood Walk 10/3

I didn't take my camera today, so here are a few photos, I took in March of 2008 of a home around the corner (a mile or so) from my apartment. My understanding was the art is painted onto panels and then fastened to the house.
This is quite impressive and the art is quite accurate, thats a big Blue Jay!

Nothing is quite as satisfying as birding close to home, whether it be visitors to the your feeding station, a visit to one of your own local "hot spots" or looking for migrants around the neighborhood. Yesterday morning I heard several White-throated Sparrows calling from the power line cut adjacent to arrivals in the past few days.

Half way through coffee this morning, after rising rather late, I decided to check the edge of the yard, there was not too much present. So I continued down the street hearing a few chickadees, nuthatches, Hairy Woodpecker etc. At the junction of Barthirck Road I hit a little pocket of migrants, Blackburnian, Palm, Yellow-rumped and Nashville Warblers along with American Redstart...very nice. Also I spished in a 1/2 dozen Blue-headed Vireos. Continuing along Barthrick lead to more pockets of the migrants mixed in with resident chickadees, the next coup was a dozen of so Blackpoll Warblers,a few Black-throated Greens and more Blue-headed Vireos, clearly a nice variety of migrant songbirds had been grounded by the rainy weather. The fog was an issue as visibility was limited to a hundred feet or less, but not too unreasonable for "spishing" in pockets of songbirds.

Once about 2/3's along the 2.25 mile loop I reached Round Meadow Pond, not much to see here as the fog was still thick, but a few Mallards and a Spotted Sandpiper could be seen along the spillway. My stomach was telling me to head on home to finish the coffee and have a bite to eat, but "bird sense" was telling me to head up Battle Road and take the Mid-state Trail to an old gravel pit/dirt raod. To the pit.........

This was a good idea, near the pit was a nice group of White-throated Sparrows, Blackpoll Warblers, a few Nashvilles and more Blue-headed Vireos. It seemed like every "pod" of songbirds contained a few of these handsome vireos. This sandpit area is heavily overgrown around the edges with Birch and Poplar saplings along with an abundance of Autumn Olive. Warbler activity was very nice for early October, Northern Parula, Nashville, Magnolia, Black-throated Green, Yellow-rumped, Palm and Pine Warblers were present. The highlight was a "killer" look at an Orange-crowned Warbler. Sparrows were also well represented with lots of White-throats, Song, Savanah, Swamp, Chipping and single Field and Lincoln's Sparrow. Gray Catbirds, Indigo Buntings and House Wrens were also present and will likely be clearing out of town very soon.

With all this "dickey bird" activity finally a raptor put in an appearance, a Merlin "blasted" past me, while I walked along the dirt road though the sandpit. It "swung" around me and then settled back down 2 feet over the road and motored at full speed for the next hundred yards and curved out of sight!

Once "canvasing" the sandpit I headed back home, about 4 1/2 hours and 5 miles had passed before I got back to coffee.

The list:
Spotted Sandpiper...1
Mourning Dove...2
Red-bellied Woodpecker...2
Downy Woodpecker...8
Hairy Woodpecker...1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)...2
Eastern Phoebe...5
Blue-headed Vireo....29
Blue Jay...25
American Crow...3
Common Raven...1
Black-capped Chickadee....30
Tufted Titmouse....12
White-breasted Nuthatch...6
Brown Creeper...1
House Wren...5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet...9
American Robin...10
Gray Catbird...9
Orange-crowned Warbler...1
Nashville Warbler...9
Northern Parula...12
Magnolia Warbler...4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)...25
Black-throated Green Warbler...12
Blackburnian Warbler...2
Pine Warbler...4
Prairie Warbler...1
Palm Warbler (Yellow)...18
Blackpoll Warbler...22
Black-and-white Warbler...1
American Redstart...1
Common Yellowthroat...12
Eastern Towhee...3
Chipping Sparrow...30
Field Sparrow...1
Savannah Sparrow...13
Song Sparrow...14
Lincoln's Sparrow...1
Swamp Sparrow...4
White-throated Sparrow...35
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)...1
Northern Cardinal...4
Indigo Bunting...3
House Finch...3
American Goldfinch...1
House Sparrow....6


Kim said...

Hi Tom,

Quite the impressive list considering how lousy it was on Saturday! Nice find on that Orange-crowned Warbler. Nice picture of the house. They obviously really love there birds! Hate to see them try and sell it though. ;-)

Tom Pirro said...

Hi Kim,
I was very please with the variety of warblers in the area, often times bad weather is good for birding. Whether it be landbirds or waterbirds.
I got a little of the "scoop" on the bird house from my mother, she is a memeber of the Leominster Art Assoiciation, as is the women that painted the birds!

Larry said...

Hoy moly-you've got some good birds in your area!I didn't have that much luck when I visited the Berkshires. Nice paintings on the neighbors house too.

Tom Pirro said...

Most of the warblers were migrants, I just "hit it" lucky! That house is something, get a sub-division like that and you'd have a field guide!.