Wednesday, April 21, 2010

East Quabbin 4/21

Traveling the back roads of Quabbin are always a pleasure, even better on a warm/calm morning in spring. Today's mode of transportation was bicycle to cover a good portion of next week's Forbush Bird Club's trip route.
Song Sparrow; a few were nest building.
Early arriving warbler species were in good supply, with nice counts on Pine, Yellow-rumped, Palm and a single Black and White Warbler. While many of the counts on the list below seem high, keep in mind I traveled a good distance in good habitat. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were noisy and plentiful...on the other hand White-breasted Nuthatches were quiet and I didn't hear nor see "a one".

A cooperative Palm Warbler on the way to Dana Center.
Some nice stonework about 1/2 way to Dana Center, from Gate 40.
I had hoped to pickup Eastern Towhee for the year, in Worcester County, I heard my first just inside of gate 40 and they'd be numerous along the most of the route. Ruby-crowned Kinglets were singing away at regular intervals, while not breeders in the area (that I know of) it must be close to peak migration for this species in the area.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

A stone marker along Greenwich Road.
Mid-morning the wind was clam and once reaching the reservoir the water was glassy, I spotted the first of at least 3 Bald Eagles from the location below.

There is an eagle's nest on the small island dead center in this photo, the adult was nearby but I could NOT see a bird siiting on the nest? Next visit I will have the scope to check for young.
The boat launch, at fishing area 3, had many Tree Swallows swarming the area and I had the good fortune of seeing a kettle of 12 Broad-winged Hawks up very high and moving north east.
A DCR attendant, at the boat ramp, gave me a brief explanation of the new launching protocol to prevent the potential spread of Zebra Muscles. Essentially fishermen must have their boat and engine cleaned and certified before being allowed on the water. He also mentioned the fishing has been good with good numbers of Lake Trout, Landlocked Salmon and Bass being taken. A few moments later I heard a "booyah" from a "shore" fisherman, as he landed a large Smallmouth Bass (below).

I rode back to watch this guy weigh the fish, 6LBS 11 Oz. .... a real trophy..and it drew a small crowd! This plump fish was likely a female and loaded with eggs.
Continuing on to Gate 43 and down to Shaft 12 (now gated off) , more Pine Warblers, Sapsuckers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Towhees and so forth were tallied. One goal of the trip was to find the location of the jet crash outside of Dana. Here is a link that provides a little information.... and I did managed to "find" it.
It made a good size crater.

More stuff.

Not to worry ... I did remember to bring them back!

Another angle.

Didn't use the wheels for this landing. last shot.....the pilot did survive...I gather he ejected and landed on Mt. Pomeroy.

Skunk Cabbage just outside of Dana Center.
The list:
Canada Goose....5
Mute Swan....2
Wood Duck....1
American Black Duck....4
Green-winged Teal...5
Ring-necked Duck...1
Hooded Merganser...4
Common Merganser...2
Ruffed Grouse...1
Common Loon...2
Great Blue Heron...1
Turkey Vulture...3
Bald Eagle...3
Sharp-shinned Hawk...1
Broad-winged Hawk...17 mostly high flying migrants
Red-tailed Hawk...1
Mourning Dove...12
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker...25
Downy Woodpecker...3
Hairy Woodpecker...4
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)...4
Pileated Woodpecker...3
Eastern Phoebe...3
Blue-headed Vireo...10
Blue Jay...105
American Crow...13
Common Raven...3
Tree Swallow...21
Black-capped Chickadee...48
Tufted Titmouse...13
Red-breasted Nuthatch...14
Brown Creeper...2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet...26
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher...1
Eastern Bluebird...2
Hermit Thrush...6
American Robin...37
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)...31
Pine Warbler...91
Palm Warbler (Yellow)...14
Black-and-white Warbler...1
Eastern Towhee...36
Chipping Sparrow...21
Savannah Sparrow...1
Song Sparrow...10
Swamp Sparrow...5
White-throated Sparrow...25
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)...26
Northern Cardinal...4
Red-winged Blackbird...18
Common Grackle...2
Brown-headed Cowbird...14
Purple Finch...3
American Goldfinch...20

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