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.


grammie g said...

Hi Tom... great variety of shore birds your have here!!
My favorite the Glossy Ibis !!
Thats odd you posted the many Nighthawks!!
My daughter lives in Buxton Me. (Adventures with Renee) is her blog and she tryed to get pictures of the Nighthawks a couple nights ago!! She said there was a real group of them swooping back and for over her house!!

Tom Pirro said...

Thanks Grammie,
The Glossy Ibis put on a great show, and many were able to add it to their respective Worcester County lists for the year. They can be found rather easily (though local) in Essex County, Ma. but inland its a good find!
We are still inside the nighthawk migration "window", I was able to get these shot by holding the point and shoot camera to the binocular eyepiece (on the right barrel) and looking through the left barrel...these were the best at MANY attempts! Nighthawks are certainly one of "our" most graceful flyers, and incase your don;t know they LOVE flying ants so if you witness a flying ant "hatch" in mid-late August....look UP!