Monday, September 13, 2010

Stilt Sandpiper and Little Blue Heron (Sterling Ma.)

Within the last week, two more "good birds" have made appearances at Muddy Pond, at Sterling Peat. On Sept. 5th Bart Kamp (with Donna Schilling and Dave Grant, I believe) found 5 Stilt Sandpipers, which stayed for a few days. One lingered long enough for me to see upon my return from a hiking trip.

Showing a little leg and its slightly decurved bill.

and feeding.

Brad Blodget had found a Little Blue Heron about 3 weeks back, and it (I presume the same bird, but there is no way to be certain) resurfaced a few days ago. Word got out and I was fortunate see it and return to get a few digi-scope shots.

On the hunt...
Like an old Batman episode...POW!

Bingo...a small sunfish..
"Reflecting" after a good meal!
It seems like every day or two another Great Egret joins in on the fun, the count today was up to TEN.
TEN great Egrets (the Little Blue was not in this photo) and a Great Blue Heron in back.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Two more "goodies" for Sterling Peat 9/2

Ian Davies messaged me late this morning to say he and Jessica Johnson had two good birds at Sterling Peat, a Baird's Sandpiper and Buff-breasted Sandpiper. I snapped a few shots.....Thank You Ian and Jessica! The Baird's

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the "hunt"....

...Digging in!
Also of note were SIX Great Egrets feeding in the shallows, an excellent count for Worcester County.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Sterling Peat" Birds August 2010

The low water level at Muddy Pond in Sterling, AKA Sterling Peat, has attracted a nice assortment of wading birds over month of August. A number of different birders visiting the site during this period of low water, shows that persistant coverage of even a small area of unique habitat will prove to be productive.

An adult Great Blue Heron.

A juvenile Great Blue.

Great Egrets have been present, 5 were present on 8/31!

A juvenile Green Heron, "releasing" its sharp call note.

This adult Green Heron was patiently awaiting a meal.

Glossy Ibis are considered "rare but regular" in Central Massachusett, usually only a few reports are received each year and typically in spring. This bird was present in Sterling for 4 or 5 days and was enjoyed by many local birders.

Here it had just grabbed a "bite", a small crawfish.
Some shorebirds that were present during the month are below.

Killdeer numbered as high as 27 on the 31st.
Lesser Yellowlegs.
Greater Yellowlegs.

Solitary Sandpiper.

Least Sandpiper.
Two Semipalmated Sandpipers, with Least Sandpiper.

A rare inland Wilson's Phalarope.

The Wilson's with a Lesser yellowlegs.
Toward the end of the month, Common Nighthawks were present in numbers near Sterling Peat, on the 29th I had a nice count of just under 800 nighthawks from Merril Road (about a mile south of Muddy Pond). Here are a few digi-bin shots below.

Note these two birds (one center, the other "partial" above right) feeding just over a residential backyard. I don't think the homeowners who were outside, even notice the dozen or so birds feeding just over their heads.
A few other species that I didn't capture on "film" were Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Black-bellied Plover (a fly-over) and the Little Blue Heron that Brad Blodget found late in the month that hasn't been seen since, as of this date.