Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Annual East Quabbin Trip 5/5/2013 and feeder birds

This past Sunday I lead the Forbush Bird Club's drive through tour of the East Quabbin watershed, beginning in the gate 45 area in Hardwick. We then covered parts of the former townships of Greenwich, Dana and North Dana and exited Gate 35 in New Salem.. While the spring migration was bit behind schedule based on our observations; the scenery, company, road conditions and weather were great even the black flies were "reasonable"!
One a several beaver ponds we visited

The group just after seeing a Nashville Warbler and close in
Pileated Woodpecker.

We saw few birds on the water at this stop, but no one seemed to mind!

While birds were few we enjoyed watching this northern water snake (or milk snake?) swim by.

A adult Bald Eagle, one 3.

Another Bald Eagle, this one near a nest. We couldn't see any
activity in the nest but it was a long  way off.
Another view of the "Prairie"

This Prairie Warbler showed nicely in a shad bush.

Some "barometer" species, to gate the current state of the spring migration (for this area), are Gray Catbird (missed), Scarlet Tanager (missed), Baltimore Oriole (1), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1) but the wood warbler species count was 13, about average for this trip. However within a week to 10 day these previously mentioned species will be back in good numbers. 66 species for the day was a bit below the average of 70 since I began leading the trip 8 years ago.

Species List
Canada Goose 6
Wood Duck 7
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 4
Hooded Merganser 5
Wild Turkey 1
Common Loon 7
American Bittern 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 10
Bald Eagle 3
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Ring-billed Gull 1
Mourning Dove 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 10
Northern Flicker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Least Flycatcher 5
Eastern Phoebe 3
Eastern Kingbird 3
Blue-headed Vireo 11
Warbling Vireo 1
Blue Jay 19
American Crow 2
Tree Swallow 54
Black-capped Chickadee 15
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Winter Wren 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Eastern Bluebird 1
Veery 3
Hermit Thrush 1
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 28
Nashville Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 6
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 32
Black-throated Blue Warbler 9
Black-throated Green Warbler 10
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Pine Warbler 22
Prairie Warbler 2
Palm Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 12
Ovenbird 6
Common Yellowthroat 4
Eastern Towhee 22
Chipping Sparrow 28
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 2
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 3
Northern Cardinal 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Red-winged Blackbird 12
Common Grackle 12
Baltimore Oriole 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
Purple Finch 1
American Goldfinch 6

After returning the gate key to DCR headquarters I "spied" this Black Vulture atop a mill chimney in Ware Center.  

Black Vulte in Ware, Ma. 

Some recent feeder birds over the past few weeks:
This Pine Warbler had been visiting the suet feeders, but has moved on in the past few days 

This Comom Grackle was looking rather 2 dimentional in this pose.

A Preening Mourning Dove.
All 6 common woodpecker species are now about near the yard, Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied visit the feeders about every day. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker can be heard drumming from near by most mornings and an occasional Northern Flicker and Pileated Woodpecker are heard or seen.
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

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