Monday, October 21, 2013

Gardner/ Westminster Birds 10/20

 Late Sunday afternoon I checked a few local ponds for migrant waterfowl, really hoping some scoters might have dropped down for a rest before continuing onto the ocean, however that was not the case. The "best" water birds were two Pied-billed Grebes on Round Meadow Pond, a Common Loon on Mare Meadow Resevior and two Common Loons on Lake Wompanoag (the loons were likely lingering nesters). However thicket birding paid off with a nice variety of sparrows, numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.
Swamp, Song and White-throated Sparrows were the common species found, but juncos were also present in a few spots and a Lincoln's Sparrow showed nicely in Gardner.
Swamp Sparrow in Westminster
A handsome White-throated Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow (Left) , Song Sparrow (Right)

Another "Swampy" taking a gust of wind from behind.

Lincoln's Sparrow (right profile)

Lincoln's Sparrow (left profile)

Lincoln's Sparrow (Straight on)

Lincoln's Sparrow (full side view)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Eastern Bluebird

Also I checked Crystal Lake for roosting gulls near dusk, all three "common" gull species were present, but in low numbers; Ring-billed Gull (45), Herring Gull (12) and Great Black-backed Gull (11).  Nothing like former years when hundreds would congregate at dusk during the fall and spring. One of my largest gull counts, at Crystal Lake, was from Nov. 24th, 2006 with 75 Ring-billed, 2200 Herring and 500 Great Black-backed Gulls. With many landfill fill closures those days are likely gone (for Herring and "Black-backs"), not a bad thing for the water treatment profession.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cooper's Hawk / American Pipits

I was looking out the kitchen window, last Sunday, and noticed a Black-capped Chickadee and an American Goldfinch quietly staring in the same direction. Upon further "investigation" I was able to find the subject of their interest, a handsome adult Cooper's Hawk, an apparent male based on the gray cheek and small size.

Adult Cooper's Hawk

This past week there were many American Pipits near some farm fields in Templeton, a conservative estimate was in the 125 to 150 range. A few digi-bin flight shots of different single birds are below.
Am. Pipit

Am. Pipit

Am. Pipit
Am. Pipit a "rear end" view