Thursday, April 29, 2010

High Ridge WMA 4/29

I spent a bit of the morning at High Ridge Wildlife Management Area, walking a loop in the Westminster section, from the Overlook Road Gate. The temperature was cool and the wind was over 15 MPH. Not surprisingly the songbird activity and birdsong was minimal.
Chipping Sparrow along Overlook Road.
At the marsh, off East Gardner Road, 4 female Common Mergansers were among a few Canada Geese (one on a nest) and Mallards. I had a nice, but quick, view at an American Bittern as it crossed the marsh and dissapeared into cattails and Tree Swallows were working the water's surface. The only warblers detected were a few Pine and Yellow-rumped and I only heard a single Blue-headed Vireo. If the wind "dies off" tonight perhaps tomorrow will be a more active day. This Blue-gray Gnatcather didn't vocalize much, but gave nice views while it foraged in the sunshine.
Purple Trillium
Below is a photo taken through the scope, a few days ago, at Wachusett Reservoir. The wind was blowing from the bird's right side and I was lucky enough the get this shot as it took flight. Apparently it simply lifted its right wing first, scooping the wind and lifting it off into flight, before activating the left wing to chase after Tree Swallow that were down wind.

An Eastern Bluebird getting ready to "scoop" some wind.
This shot (below), was from a few weeks ago, in back of my apartment. This Downy Woodpecker was excavating its nest hole, the photo captured it tossing a bill full of wood chips "out the door".
A Downy Woodpecker doing some housekeeping chores.


grammie g said...

The chipping sparrow is one I see and hear the bluebird catching some air--I have a pair nesting in my back yard!! Real comical photo of the woodpecker!! Nice photos!!

Larry said...

nice photos Tom. I was just reading through a bird finding guide for Western Mass and saw that you contributed-cool! Nice guide-I like the way it's organized.Hope you are enjoying the warbler season.