Monday, December 15, 2014

Early December sightings

There has been a nice assortment of gulls in the Westinster/Garder area over the past 2 weeks. A first winter Iceland  Gull was sighted on Round Meadow Pond (Westminster) and Crystal Lake (Gardner), twice for each location in the past 10 days.

Iceland Gull on Crystal Lake in Gardner, Ma. 12/2

another shot of the Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull over Round Meadow Pond in Westminster, Ma. on 12/7

1st winter Iceland perched, just under the in coming juv. Herring Gull
On 12/13 there was a presumed 2nd winter Glaucous Gull on Round Meadow Pond in Westminster, bill shape and short wing projection (beyond the tail) seems to fit for this species. I was a bit surprised to see some gray on the primaries, but in reviewing Howell/Dunn's "Gulls of North America" I found a few similar looking gulls they catagorized as GLGU, but also a few similar looking hybrids.
Presumed 2nd winter Glaucous Gull on Round Meadow Pond in
Westminster, Ma.

Zoomed a bit closed

Showing a Gloucous like bill

..another angle

another view

..showing a bit of wing pattern

Monday morning 12/8 this Bald Eagle with feeding on a Greater Black-backed Gull,
on Round MEadow Pond 

This Northern Shrike was at Elliot Hill in Templeton on 12/5

A Northern Cardinal on the back deck.
One of the most intriguing birds in central Mass. is a presumed Red-tailed X Red Shouldered Hawk that has been frequenting the open area near River Road and the rail trail in West Boylston, Ma. First studied by Ryan Shain on 11/10/2014. See his ebird writeup and photos here, Justin Lawson captured a crips shot of this bird flight here
This "stunner" was obscenely tame, allowing many walkers and joggers to pass within 20 to 25 feet of its perch, of course none of these "keenly observant" people even noticed it. Judging from the blood on its bill, and the fact its been frequenting the same area for a month plus, its making a decent living.  A red-tail like belly band can been seem from a headon view, you pickup a hint of it in the photo.

A digi-scoped portrait.

A digi-binned shot, just before it perched atop a pole. An beautiful  ly patterned tail!