Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hubbardston Wildlife Management Area 2/17

I had never birded this location before (Hubbardston WMA) and after only finding 10 species today, one could argue I still haven't. Though one can't expect too much while birding the Central Massachusetts forests, for the most part, in winter. The main focus was to snowshoe, rather than hard-core birding and I didn't feel like driving too far from home.

Some spiffy looking new snow along Joslin Brook.

I had a nice look at an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk from this location, it was attracted to a small group of Chickadees I had "spished" in. It moved on quickly after missing its target.

This Raven was briefly harrassed by crows, over Cunningham Pond, here its squawking away.

Greenwood Cemetery was gated off, I chose not to hop the fence to inspect, perhaps another time.
I managed to find a crossing point along this small "seep", looks like a nice spot for a Winter Wren in a few months.
A close call, as I crossed an "ice bridge" over a small stream near a beaver dam. I was enjoying the view and I felt some give in the ice and I stepped away just in time! I turned around and watched the piece of ice I had been on, about 3 feet across, sink into the water. It almost seemed I knew what I was doing, a Jacques Clouseau moment ,my snowshoe didn't even get wet! Note the snowshoe track on the snow in the water, not to fear the water was only a foot deep (it still would've stunk had I got my foot wet).

Of the total 5.75 miles traveled about 1/2 was bush wacking, with all the down trees from the Dec. 2008 ice storm, I had to do a lot of zigging and zagging.

There was still plenty of snow on the branches which makes for nice "designs", but I got "clobbered" by plenty of snow falling from hemlocks and pines.

Toward the end of the walk I start noticing plenty of springtails, a tiny insect also called snowfleas or Collembola.

I did manage to see a few birds, this White-breasted nuthatch was the best bird photo I could manage. While there wasn't too much today I am certain a spring or breeding season visit would yield a good deal of diversity.
The bird list:
Species ...Number reported
Sharp-shinned Hawk.. 1
American Crow.......... 16
Common Raven........... 2
Black-capped Chickadee... 36
Tufted Titmouse.... 5
Red-breasted Nuthatch... 1
White-breasted Nuthatch... 6
Brown Creeper ...3
Golden-crowned Kinglet... 6
American Goldfinch... 17


Anonymous said...

nice pictures!..i may be moving to that area soon, and am an avid "birder" myself...thanks!

Anonymous said...

some great pictures!..i may be moving nearby soon,from Eastern Ma., am an avid birder myself..thanks!