Sunday, January 16, 2011

Essex County 1/15

Chuck Caron and I hit some "high spots" in Essex County on Saturday, starting at Salisbury State Park and ending on Cape Ann. The temp was zero when we left Westminster but there was no wind. A nice scene along the Merrimac River in Amesbury.
Most of the Canada Geese along the Merrimac were still sleeping when we arrived near the mouth of the river. Long-tailed Ducks, White-winged Scoters, Common Goldeneye, Buffleheads and Red-breasted Mergansers were plentiful.
These geese were still frosted over....
Gulls are very opportunistic, these two Herring Gulls in Salisbury, had found a brilliant solution to combat the early morning fridged temperature.
This handsome Red-tailed Hawk, along the entrance to Salisbury State Park, was enjoying the early sun.
At the Salisbury State Boat Ramp were a few Horned Larks, an American Pipit, and a Savannah Sparrow of the Ipswich race was seen well. A adult Bald Eagle was harrassing a few White-winged Scoters. Near the jetty was a Razorbill, Purple Sandpipers and a hundred+ Common Eider.
An Ipswich" Savannah Sparrow at the Salisbury Boat ramp.

At Cashman Park, on the Newburyport side of the river, was yet another American Pipit, but other than Mallards, Canada Geese and Ringed-billed Gulls there was little else. Joppa Flats had approximately 1500 Canada Geese, but we could NOT find a previously reported Greater White-fronted Goose.

The road on Parker River NWR was plowed to the very end, a Hermit Thrush near Hellcat was seen, we missed a Brown Thrasher that had been seen earlier, had a brief look at a Northern Shrike as it left its perch and a nice Rough-legged Hawk (light form) near Cross Farm Hill.

The overlook at Emmerson Rocks, lot 7, was productive with a few Snow Buntings, Horned Lark, another Savannah Sparrow (Ipswich from), a Northern Pintail and a young Peregrine Falcon that landed on the beach in front of us.

Savannah Sparrow (Ipswich form) near Emmerson Rocks.

This young Peregrine Falcon landed right out front....

...did a little hopping around before leaving. (I am seeking information on this banded bird and will report back when I get information)... I got a very quick response back for Massachusetts Natural Heritage: "14/X black over green, 2206-81828 is a juvenile male that was banded on May 24, 2010 in the nest box in Lawrence, MA. There was a full clutch of 4 chicks, 2 males and 2 females. "
Also here is a link to the banding "event" of the above Peregrine:

Several hundred American Black Ducks and about 80 Dunlin were along an exposed mud flat between the pines and Cross Farm Hill. On the drive out we had a good look at a Wilson's Snipe that a half dozen people were photographing at the North Pool overlook.
We headed off to Cape Ann for the afternoon, in route a Turkey Vulture soared over rte 1A. Jodrey Pier seemed to have very few gulls, but we did have a good view of an adult Iceland Gull and a Black Guillemot among the more common birds. At Eastern Point were a few more Iceland Gulls, a first cycle and second cycle, while at Brace Cove Chuck spotted a Glaucous Gull in flight with great Black-backed Gulls, this bird appeared be an adult to 3rd cycle bird.

Linda Ferraresso had directed us to the location of a Dickcissel at Halibut Point. Within 15 minutes of arrival we "had" the bird with time to spare for a trip to Andrew's Point were we enjoyed Harlequin Ducks, a Razorbill and a few Red-necked Grebes.
Harlequin Ducks, always a treat, at Andrew's Point.


Hilke Breder said...

Sounds like you had a very productive day. I love the gull warming themselves on the chimney, and what luck to see a young peregrine land so close!

Tom Pirro said...

Hello Hilke, Yes the gulls were halarious..Tom French of Massachusett's Natural heritage got back to me on the origin of the young Peregrine immediately. Essex County is a always great birding destination!

cindyzlogic said...

Hi Tom, I found your blog while following John Tucker's blog. I really enjoyed your post about the birds you have in Massachusetts. The sparrows look so cold. Wonderful shots of the falcon, sparrows, and Harlequin's!

Phil Brown said...

Hi Tom, you certainly have a great blog as well! Thanks for your kind words. I saw a young banded Peregrine on Parker River NWR back on Aug. 16, 2010

Black - 38
Green - AE

Haven't heard where the youngster was banded yet. Nice to see there's still one on the island. Nice shots!