Monday, April 20, 2015

Mid- April

Early spring migrants continue to arrive such Pine, Palm and Yellow-Rumped Warblers; Louisiana Waterthrush and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. I have yet to see or hear a Black and White Warbler, but the next warm front should help aid their return.
 Bald Eagles continue to show well, particularly at Round Meadow Pond (Westminster), Broad-winged Hawks have are arriving and Osprey are still passing through.

Common Mergansers and a few Common Goldeneye continue to linger on a few bodies of water in the area, notably Crystal lake (Gardner) and some back-waters at High Ridge WMA. They will clear out of the area in the next week or two.

Its time to hang out the hummingbird feeders, as a few very early arrivals have been noted from lower elevations of Massachusetts; the main influx is usually the first week of May.

Below are a few photos from afield during the past week:
A pair of Common Mergansers at High Ridge WMA

A male Bufflehead on Lake Dennison

Osprey at Round Meadow Pond

male Northern Flicker

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Tree Swallow at High Ridge WMA

Ruby-crowned Kinglet at High Ridge WMA

a dorsal view of an "eastern" Palm Warbler

Front view of a different Palm Warbler

A handsome male Pine Warbler, in a pitch pine.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 6 -12th North Central Mass.

Sunday 4/12 finally "broke open" as the first real day of spring, after another tough week of weather.

I birded around Westminster/Fitchburg a bit, on Sunday, with highlights being 3 immature Bald Eagles at Round Meadow Pond, 2 Glossy Ibis continuing at Monty Tech High School and 2 Osprey over Saw Mill Pond. Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Palm Warblers and Hermit Thrushes have arrived too, but Pine Siskins are still lingering; and few redpolls were present on Friday 4/10. Tree Swallows are starting to inspect nest boxes, phoebes are wide spread and Great Blue Herons were at their nesting "stations" at a nearby colony. An adult Bald Eagle (the 4th of the day in town) was perched in that middle of the Great Blue colony , but the herons all remained calm.

 Many lakes and ponds are carrying a lot of ice, and there is still a good deal of snow in heavily shaded woodlands, but it does appear that spring has arrived.

Here are a few recent photos:
A female American Kestrel launching from a grave stone near the old Gardner Landfill.

Bald Eagle in Westminster, which was perched in the middle of a Great Blue Heron Colony.
Same as above...shot 2

Great Blue Herons, 1 of 15 nests in Westminster the left bird was letting out a squawk

Our 1st yard Purple Finch of 2015

Hermit Thrush along the Otter River in Baldwinville's "Back Bay", on a cold and miserable Wednesday 4/8.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Early April sightings

Much of the winter's heavy snow fall has melted in the past week and migration is starting to "catch up" a bit. Blackbirds are wide spread, waterfowl such as Green-wing Teal, Wood Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, Common and Hooded Mergansers are getting some open water. Eastern Phoebes and Tree Swallows are a welcome sight after the long winter.
  I was pleased to see an American Bittern at High Ridge Wildlife Management Area, on 4/5, along with a few Tree Swallows and Northern Flicker. Glossy Ibis are "rare but regular" migrants in Worcester County, but usually down on the Bolton Flats. The 3 were feeding on the Monty Tech (Westminetr/Fitchburg) athletic fields Sunday evening 4/5 were a great surprise, my previous "north county" sightings were summer sightings (post breeding season), both from Gardner.
   Are we sick of Bohemian Waxwings yet? I'm not and finding a flock of 150-175 along with Cedars was real nice, about 30 minutes before meeting up with the  "Glossies". This time in Leominster at an athletic field near Fallbrook Elementary School.
 A few photos are below:
American Bittern in flight

Glossy Ibis trio at Monty Tech

One of the trio preening, careful with that thing!

and srcatching

A Fox Sparrow in Templeton

Part of the Leominster Bohemian/Cedar Waxwing "clan"

Mostly Bohemians in this portion, they were spead in 3 different trees.