Monday, March 29, 2010

Salisbury/Plum Island 3/28

Yesterday Karin and I took a ride to the Newburyport area, mainly to visit the Birdwatcher's Gift and Supply to buy a few books. Barrett Bacall, who was manning the store, told us the Sage Thrasher had been re found at Salisbury State Reservation. A dead Yellow-billed Cuckoo had been found at Salisbury too, mid-May is a typical arrival date for this species... early is good....too early is deadly.
We arrived at Salisbury and noticed a 1/2 dozen birders standing at "attention", all optics pointing in the same direction is a good sign. The thrasher put on a great show, occasionally disappearing in a single cedar beside the road, only to reappear and begin feeding and sunning itself several minutes later.

Sage Thrasher at Salisbury State Reservation.
... another shot...
..and another.
Afterwards, we visited Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and Sandy Point State Park. The "wrack line" was impressive, it contained hundreds of large pieces of timber and other debris. Apparently the recent floods must have "drained a lot of dead wood from low-lying areas, along the rivers, and flushed it into Plum Island Sound where came to rest on the beach.

There was lots of wood along the shore, this tree formed a nice arch.

This was the scene along Sandy Point, at the southern end of Plum Island.
We could not find a Piping Plover at Sandy Point, but had a nice look at a Savannah Sparrow of the Ipswich subspecies.

An "Ipswich" Savannah Sparrow on Plum Island

Another shot of the same "Ipswich" Sparrow
Across from the Plum Island Airport a Great Blue Heron showed nicely in a flooded hay field, catching a few small food items while it was observed.
Moving in....
....the lunge.... call that a meal!
This morning on the way home from Melrose, I stopped by Bolton Flats and managed to count my highest total ever for Green-winged Teal in Worcester County, 460 was a hundred more than last Thursday! I counted through several times trying to get an accurate count and looking for a Eurasian type Green-wing. I did not find a "Eurasian teal" but did find an intergrade, very similar to one I had seen here last year, 3/25/2009. Here is a poor photo through the heary rain.
An intergrade American/Eurasian Green-winged Teal, while a very poor photo both the vertical and a horizontal white marking, though faint, can be seen.

Also present were Canada Goose (75), Wood Duck (20) Black Ducks (20), Mallards (125), Gadwall (2), 3 Blue-winged teal (3), Northern Pintails (6), American Widgeon (6), about 30 Ring-necked Ducks and 30+ Wilson's Snipe.

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