Monday, March 14, 2016

High Ridge WMA (East side) 3/12/2016

The east side of High Ridge Wild Life Management Area is a section that I (shamefully) have not explored in over 25 years I have birded and walked this area, other than occasionally checking Whitmanville Reservoir from South Ashburnham Road. The trail, off Old Gardner Road, lead to a stream that cuts through a small ravine which I followed till I reached the RR Tracks just east of the East Gardner Road Marsh.

While the woods were pretty "dead" today, later in the season this area should be a good location to find nesting warblers such as; Ovenbird,  Louisiana Watherthrush,  Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, and Magnolia Warblers. Other song birds I'd expect nesting would be Hermit Thrush, Winter wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Golden-crowned Kinglet and of course Red-eyed Vireo.
An attractive stream, good habitat for Louisiana Waterthrush

Old "tin wear" near an old cellar hole.

Another view of this quick moving stream.

A minnow with a wound/growth on its back.

Glacial erratic

Red-tailed Hawk, also a Red-shouldered Hawk was heard calling from high overhead.

An oncoming freight train, the tracks thorough the WMA are active, its always good to be aware.
Bush whacking from the rr tracks eventually lead me to a large beaver impoundment,  to the east. The spruce grove that surrounds the pond would appear to be good habitat from nesting Golden-crowned Kinglets, Magnolia Warbler and Red-breasted Nuthatches.
A nice Spruce Grove, near a large beaver pond just west of Whitmanville Res. 

Signs of beaver all along the shore line.

An open view of the pond, looking west,

A pair of Common Mergansers on Whitmanville Res.

The spill way from Whitmanville Res.
The bird list from this 4 1/2 mile meander through the woods:

Wood Duck.... 2
Mallard (Northern)...2
Common Merganser (North American)....2
Red-shouldered Hawk....1
Red-tailed Hawk....1
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)....3
Pileated Woodpecker.....1
American Crow.....3
Common Raven.....2
Black-capped Chickadee.... 15
Tufted Titmouse.... 8
Red-breasted Nuthatch....5
White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern)......6
Brown Creeper.....5
Golden-crowned Kinglet....3
American Robin....5
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)....1
Northern Cardinal....2
House Finch....2