Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Common Loon Pair on Mare Meadow Reservoir, in Westminster.
From 1999 to at least 2004 the Biodiversity Research Institute (Maine) captured and color banded many breeding and or territorial loons in Massachusetts. These close loons presented an opportunity to see if either of this pair were banded. One of the pair was cooperative, showing both legs, the left leg was: Blue/White and the right leg: Blue (stripe)/silver (the metal band with the info).
A number of years back I had email the folks at BRI for the color combinations on the Massachusetts loons they'd banded....so from that.... This bird is a male that was captured on Paradise Pond (Princeton, ma.) in 2003. Paradise Pond is only a "stone's throw" away, the pair had bred there, successfully for a few years, before "moving out" 2 years back. Perhaps they will find success on Mare Meadow, which has several small islands and no boat traffic.
Friday, April 17, 2009
The "Upper" Marsh, a 1/3 mile in from the Smith Street entrance at High Ridge WMA
Thursday evening I birded the "Upper" marsh, off Smith Street at the High Ridge Wildlife Management Area, on the east side of Rte 140 in Gardner. It had been a few weeks since my last visit here and it was about time to see if an Amercian Bittern had arrived yet. I hadn't even made it 1/2 way to the wetland and I could the hear the bittern's "water pump-like" calls from the distance. A moment later I heard what sounded like a Pied-billed Grebe, that turned out to screams from the prison, another 3/4 mile beyond the marsh. Nothing too serious though, it was likely an inmate's softball game, but from what I've been told it is in fact... serious business.
On marsh was an Amercian Bittern, this time I had a nice look while it was in flight and soon it disappeared on the far side of the marsh. I have always suspected there are more than one pair nesting at High Ridge, but they do move about and feed in and call from the hay fields.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Last Saturday 4/4, I saw this Juv. Bald Eagle (above) on the Connecticut River in Hinsdale, NH. At first glance there appeared nothing noteworthy of this bird, but upon closer examination, I could see it had something in its left talon. It was not a prey item, which was my first thought, but what appeared to be a short piece of PVC pipe, about 6 to 8"!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Other than the a "broken up" cap it appeared and acted like a normal chickadee
Friday, April 3, 2009
Below are a few digi-scope shots of a few eagles from the "chicken farm", the real name is Mainely Poultry.
A few Juveniles, the bird facing away has some very "bleached out" feathers on its upper wings and back.
You know your in the country when.....
you reach Cow Shit Corner!
A winter or basic plumage Black Guillemot at Pemiquid Pt.
The Pemiquid PT. Lighthouse
After about 15 minutes the above bird's mate took flight and began to gain altitude, a gave a look up over its should, similar to the photo below, apparently for another bird. We found the other bird, expecting it to be another Bald Eagle...it was not....BUT it was juvenile Golden Eagle! It stayed up fair high and distant, but features such as , its smaller head, golden nap (through the scopes), whiteish base to the flight feathers (but fairly limited, forming more of a line rather than the classic white patches) against dark wings and body, goldish upper wing coverts, white based tail with thick dark termial band. It kept moving north quartering a strong head wind and there was no interaction between the Bald and Golden.
The Bald settled back down and reappeared a few minutes later, this time it spotted a 4th year Bald Eagle and two interacted at relatively close range, I snapped a few digi-bin photos...
The non-incubating bird sees an interloper.....
Looks like a 4th year bird.
Both birds together
After viewing the nest area we headed toward Wiscasset, and spotted a Turkey Vulture in a front yard working over the remains of a dead skunk. Sue had seen two there the day before, and now the skunk was essentially just a pelt, but there must have been some "goodies" still attached! We pulled over and I got a few shot through the "bins". The best one is below.....
The little blob at its feet are what is left of the skunk..other than the smell.
After birding a bit of the "bay" in Wiscasset we headed back to the house for dinner, a healthy portion of red wine and listened to some CD's in Thom's studio.. to digest a good day in the field.
Not a bad setup to listen to a little or a lot of music!
Wednesday morning Thom and I hung out on the back deck and enjoyed some yard birds, sans Charlie Parker. We had a nice assorment of typical stuff and a few new arrivals such as Rusty Blackbird and Eastern Meadowlark. Raptors from the deck included Bald Eagle, Red-tails, Sharp-shinned, Cooper's Hawk and Turkey Vultures. No Osprey, but I think Thom had one the next day!
Thom is viewing a passing Bald Eagle
The Eastern Meadowlark's back blends in nicely with the brown grass.