Sunday, May 19, 2013

More Feeder Birds 5/19

The feeders and yard continue to be fairly busy with bird activity. While not on the feeders a Tennessee Warbler was a nice surprise yesterday morning when I returned from birding High Ridge WMA. Its sharp 3 parted song was heard from high in the trees.
In the past few weeks several species have fed from our suet feeders, including the expected Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers; Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch. Others included American Robin, Chipping Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Pine Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole. A few photos below:

A Tree Swallow flying over the deck

The always reliable Black-capped Chickadee

An "incoming" female Rose-breasted Grosbeak 

finally settled in.

A colorful Baltimore Oriole

Another pose

Monday, May 13, 2013

Recent Yard Birds

The past few years I've kept a yard bird list, I was surprised in 2011 to tally 101 for the year and 2012 98, currently the list stands at 73 as of May 13th. The feeders have been colorful the past few days, American Goldfinches in breeding plumage and Blue Jays have been recently augmented by Gray Catbird, Pine Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. On Mother's day 3 male Rose-breasted visited the feeder at once.

Blue Jays had been scarce all winter but recent arrivals have woken up the neighborhood
This gray Catbird came to the suite feeder.

A nice mix of blue and gray

This Indigo Bunting added a new tone to the blue scale.

Sunday 3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were on the deck at once!
 I heard my first yard Scarlet Tanager on Sunday, after work on Monday a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak was carrying nesting materials.

A Red-eft nearby add nice ground colors

A "chippy" or is it reincarnation of Don Zimmer impersonation...!
The yard list for May 12, 2013:
 Mallard 3
Mourning Dove 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue-headed Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 5
American Crow 3
Tree Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Tufted Titmouse 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
House Wren 2
American Robin 4
Gray Catbird 2
Ovenbird 1
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Northern Parula 2
Yellow Warbler 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 8
Prairie Warbler 1
Black-throated Green Warbler 3
Eastern Towhee 2
Chipping Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Scarlet Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4
Indigo Bunting 1
Common Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
Baltimore Oriole 1
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 2

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