Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mt Watatic, Bolton and Wachusett Reservoir...

Karin and I took a hike up Mt. Watatic Sunday, while the weather was dreary the rain held off and the short hike was very pleasant. Many of the spruce trees near the summit held a heavy load of new cones, so perhaps these might attract some crossbills, once they mature in the fall. abundant Red Spruce cones.

A close up...
Blueberry were flowering...time to pick in about 6 weeks!

Painted Trillium

A Willet was reported from Bolton Flats and while common on our coastal marshes, such as Plum Island they are exceedingly rare inland! Superbowl of Birding team mate, Rod Jenkins found it and to boot....he heard a King Rail at the same time!

I made a visit during the week, while I did not see the Willet nor hear the King Rail, there were other nice birds in the muddy fields. 14 Semipalmated Plovers, 5 Greater Yellowlegs, 3 Spotted Sandpipers, 22 Least Sandpipers and 2 Short-billed Dowitchers (originally found by Alan Marble) made a nice assortment of inland shorebirds.

One of 14 Semi Plovers ...

A very handsome Short-billed Dowitcher.

I hoped for a tern species at Wachusett Reservoir, Bart Kamp had two Black Terns recently, but none were to be seen. A large raft of tightly "packed" waterfowl in the distance turned out to be Brant! I estimated about 100, certainly one of the largest spring occurances of this species on record, for Worcester County! Bart Kamp had also seen them a little earlier and the birds took flight and set down again, while in flight he was able to get an accurate count of 133. Paul Meleski had seen the same group of birds and estimated 70-80, but they were so close together it was impossible to get an exact count.

A long range digi-scope photo of Brant on Wachusett Reservoir.

A few other "good" birds on Wachusett were a Horned Grebe (in breeding plumage) and 14 White-winged Scoters.

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak digi-scoped from the deck at home.


Susan W. said...

Lovely spring landscape!

Virginia Wright said...

Beautiful photos!