Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wachusett Reservoir and Bolton Flats 10/12

I visited Wachusett Reservoir on the morning 10/12 hoping that perhaps some Black Scoters and other waterfowl. While no scoters of any type were present, there were 21 Common Loons, 2 Red-necked Grebes and 2 Horned Grebes...leading the way for water birds. The Horned Grebes were out in the middle and too distant to even bother lifting the camera, but a few loons and one of the Red-necks were cooperative.

Common Loon with forehead "raised".
Another COLO, this one was a local breeder....

While preening it showed off one of its "sporty" leg bands, my spreadsheet with the state's banding data show this is a female that was banded on Washusett Reservoir in 2000, 10 years ago! Also note, there is a Quabbin bird that was banded in 2003 with orange bands on the left leg too, but each of these has different colors on the right side.

This Red-necked Grebe appeared suspended!
The flat sounding "check" notes of many Yellow-rumped Warblers in the nearby wood lots could be heard, we are still in the peak of this species passing through the area. Common resident species such as Tufted Titmouse and Blue Jays showed well too.

Tufted Titmouse foraging in the oaks.
This Blue Jay posed nicely.
An American Coots was a nice surprise on nearby South Meadow Pond along with 50+ Mallards, 1 American Wigeon, a Green-winged Teal and a dozen Ring-necked Duck. Greater Scaup numbers on Coachlace Pond grew from 2 last week to 21 yesterday.
Later I headed over to Bolton Flats to see how the sparrow-fest was progressing, and it was! While I did not find any rarities, there were good numbers of Swamp, Song and White throated Sparrows of which I counted over a 100 of each...though keeping trackin the weedy habitat is diffiecult to say the least, but you should get the idea! Mixed in were a few White-crowned, Savanah, only one Lincoln's and a few Juncos.

The farmer was beginning to cut the corn stalks, he did manage to get stuck in a wet depression, but he managed to work the rig out with some skill and finess. This activity kept the Red-winged Blackbirds on the move, approx. 1,000 were roving the area.
Good numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers, a dozen plus Palm Warbler (2 westerns were in the mix), a Blackpoll and Common Yellowthroat. 14 Tree Swallows were a nice sight, perhaps the last I'll see of this species for the year (at least in Worcester County) and many Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a few American Pipits and migrating hawks and Canada Geese high overhead.

Savanah Sparrow.

Swamp Sparrow
a leusistic Song Sparrow, I seem to find at least one leusistic version of this species nearly every year.
A normal Song Sparrow.
An immature White-crowned Sparrow, looking rather reagle next to a song sparrow.
A nice surpise were 2 Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the same tree at close range, the light was bad but I managed one photo through the binocular. There have been many reports in the last week on MASSBIRD.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
A few other noteable species were Blue-headed Vireo, House Wren, Marsh Wren and two Northern Harriers.

Some nice fall colors along the path on the south side of rte 117.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Those are some really good birds. Sounds like a really productive outing.