Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Westminster CBC 12/26

Ernie Leblanc joined me, to help out with covering the Gardner portion of this year's Westminster Christmas Bird Count. I began before sunrise to try for owls for an hour or so, and completely struck out! After meeting at Mount Wachusett Community College at 6:45AM our first stop was Chapel Street, to try our luck for the Townsend's Solitaire. I had not been there to check since finding it on 12/23, but other birders did see it on 12/24 but no reports had been received from 12/25.One of the new wind turbines at MWCC.

We birded that area from 7:00AM until about 8:15, and saw no sign of the bird. However we did have a few other nice birds for the count, such as Carolina Wren, 3 Common Redpolls, a Raven and a Flicker. After hitting a few more spots we returned briefly and Jeff Johnstone and company had arrived. Ernie and I continued on to cover our territory and "annexed" Jeff and friends into covering for the solitaire. While that prize bird never resurfaced, despite considerable effort by us and others, that spot turned up a few good birds. One being the flicker, very uncommon on this count and later John Williams had an immature Bald Eagle pass overhead, a first (and over due) for the Westminster CBC.

Carolina Wren at Jackson Park in Gardner.
Over the course of the morning we managed 10 more Common Redpolls, a Pine Siskin, 39 Wild Turkeys and a dozen Cedar Waxings. To get better coverage of the area, Enrie and I split our effort during the afternoon, within 45 minutes Enrie called me after finding 175 Cedar Waxwings and a single Bohemian Waxwing (not a solitaire but a real prize!). Karin had joined me for the afternoon so we headed right over and by the time we arrived another Bohemian had joined in. These were my first Bohemian Waxwings for the year and another (and likely my last) "year bird" for Worcester County!

Cedar Waxwing from 12/28 at High Ridge WMA in Westminster.
The afternoon was a little slow on the birding front, but at least the storm held off until after dark. I finished the last 40 mintues on Chapel Street hoping that solitaire might show itself again, it did not and likely has moved along or at least changed it habits for the time being.

Mourning Dove off Overlook Road, in Westminster 12/28.
The list from our section of the count only:
Black Duck... 4
Mallard... 30
Wild Turkey... 39
Cooper's Hawk ...1
Red-tailed Hawk... 2
R.B. Gull ...18
Herring Gull... 5
Rock Pigeon... 55
Mourning Dove ...27
Common Flicker...1

Downy Woodpecker... 21
Hairy Woodpecker... 5
Blue Jay ...31
Am. Crow ...20
C. Raven ...3
BC Chickadee ...143
T. Titmouse ...13
RB Nuthatch ...4
WB Nuthatch... 26
B. Creeper... 4
Carolina Wren... 3
Am. Robin ...10
N. Mockingbird... 1
E. Starling... 47
Bohemian Waxwing... 2
C. Waxwing... 190
Tree Sparrow... 7
Song Sparrow ...2
WT Sparrow... 3
DE Junco... 42
N. Cardinal ...11
House Finch... 22
C. Redpoll... 36
Pine Siskin ...1
Am. Goldfinch ...18
House Sparrow... 39

No comments: