Friday, May 24, 2013
Me: I know all about the bird and on my way
Alan: No you don't know the whole story
Me: (confused and flustered). What do you mean I saw the post about the Hooded Warbler
Alan: Well there's a Cattle Egret at Bolton Flats
Suddenly I was overwhelmed with two great birds in the area and me still at work and had my heart set on the Hooded, but we're talking Cattle Egret.
Me: Well I was just on my way to get the Hooded
Alan: Well which would you rather have the Cattle Egret or the warbler?
I'd stop to contemplate this for a moment as I've never been asked this before so it required thought as it's like asking me if I'd rather have chocolate cheesecake or a hot fudge sundae and naturally I'd want both!
Me: The Cattle Egret
Alan: Okay, if you leave work now I can pick you up and we can try for it. (Alan knew that would be my response of course as I've talked about a Worcester county Cattle Egret the 1st year I started birding)
I'd leave in a hurry talking to myself about how I'm not chasing birds anymore as it's too stressful and wonder if Jim next door heard the whole conversation and thinks I'm even crazier than when I was swooning in his office over the Barred Owl not letting him get any work done.
I'd arrive home in record time and Alan would pick me and Justin up telling us Bart had found it and called and off we went to try for the Cattle Egret. The entrance to the parking lot would be flooded but Alan being the trooper that he is plowed right through it as we got out of the car to walk the path and I'd be glad I wore boots as they were needed as you can see in the 1st picture!
Soon enough after much scoping we'd find the bird mixed in with the Canada Geese past the flooded field and on dry land.
Next it would be off to get me the Hooded Warbler as both Justin and Alan got it earlier and I was feeling left out and not holding out much hope the bird would still be there. We'd be there for a bit when we could both hear a very loud and metallic chip note and I'd get on a warbler where all I could see was a nice colorful yellow on the body and a lot of white at the end of the tail. "I think I have it, I'd shout to Alan as we both tried to get a better look at it from the tree tops. I'd see it fly above my head an could clearly see the black under its throat making me very happy and wishing more warblers were this easy to ID in flight as it isn't the case in most instances with flying warblers! The bird would show me some mercy and land long enough for me to attempt a record shot.
We'd drive back home and I'd be in awe over the two birds I'd just seen considering we're smack dab in Worcester County and not on the coast as this is the stuff you normally see there and not here. Just a nice reminder that we do get our share of cool birds in our county and why I love birding locally as much as I do.
Take care all.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
I'd be at work Wednesday and Justin would post on the Facebook Central Mass Birders page about both a Yellow and Black-billed Cuckoo at the Cross Street Powerlines so off I'd go after work hoping for both. It wouldn't take me long to hear the Black-billed but it was rather soft and sporadic so figured it had skulked more into the woods to get away from the a**hole dirt bikers who'd by flying around and making a ton of racket. I'd spend some time wondering around and just listen to all of the breeding birds as I'm really into chip notes lately so it allowed me some good study. Eventually the Black-billed sounded closer and soon enough he'd fly from one end of the road to the other and land in brush and call. In fact at one point he flew so low he almost clipped my head much to my delight! I'd call Alan and tell him the bird was not only calling but visible and sure enough the bird would continue to do both when Alan arrived. It allowed for some close study of this birds behavior and made me feel better after seeing the dead one in downtown Worcester.
I'd wake up early this morning and go back to Cross Street hoping to hear the Yellow-billed and would again strike out on that but the Black-billed was still there and calling away which was the perfect way to start the day. After work it would be off to Brierly hoping for a Yellow-billed there and I'd get one less than five minutes of arriving! One thing I've noticed about Cuckoos is it's really hard to pinpoint their location when you are getting them by ear only but the one thing I've learned lately is if you can hear them and they sound far away, chances are they're not and you need to stay in the general location. My patience would pay off as I'd see it fly across the trail so once again I'd call Alan to let him know we had Millbury Cuckoo number two and to get the Brierly as quickly as possible. HA
Alan would arrive and we'd both get really good looks at the bird (in fact, one of the best looks I've ever gotten of one). Wish my camera could have done it justice but what else is new! The best thing about it is the bird actually did all of it's calls for me including one of my favorite sounds of all time which is their "knocker call" Earlier on, I'd also hear both Barred Owls doing a duet which would be the first time I'd ever hear that so all in all a perfect way to end my birding for the week as it sounds as if we are about to get dumped with rain!
Last note is the number of Cuckoos not only in Worcester County this year but the entire state. Will be interesting to see what the final number look like but as of right now it seems to be invasion of the cuckoos!
Take care all.
Monday, May 20, 2013
link which is pretty nifty. Come to find out female coloration can vary and this is a she! Swoon, this is why I love birding as you learn something new everyday you get out there.
Take care all.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
We'd head back to the area I had my Swainson's yesterday as I'd remember it immediately due to a pink bib on the trail which was my bench mark yesterday on the birds approximate voice location and it would be then both Alan and I would see a bird fly from one end of the trail to the other, the bird would be rather still and we'd be shocked to see a bird that looked very much like a Swainson's at first glance.
I'd go home for the lunch time lull and decide to lay down for a bit as I got up early and didn't fall asleep until fairly late the night before. I'd have my windows open and could hear a robin singing nearby as well as the local Northern Mockingbird so I'd close my eyes and just listen to him as he belted out tunes of his neighbors. Soon enough I'd drift off and be in "la la land" but kept waking up some to check the time as I wanted to get back out before the rain. I'd have spotty dreams with the last one being my annual "I can't ID this bird" dream I seem to get every year and this one's a doozy like all the others. I believe it was a bird club event as I'd be on a trail with a bunch of birders and would only know two (Alan and Kevin). Suddenly I'd spot a bird and shout out to the others as I had no idea what it was as its butt was to me so wanted others on it before it flew off! I'm lousy in my conscience life of trying to describe locations of birds so it would only ring true in dream land too as no one could spot it so they asked me to describe it. Suddenly the small little bird would fan its tail like an American Redstart and then turn around and be speechless as this is what I'd see.
FYI, for some reason I can't post any of my YouTube videos directly on Blogger this evening so if you really want to listen to some lousy audio of the bird you can do so here Black-billed Cuckoo Millbury .
Take care all.
You'll have to turn up the volume on you computer some most likely as it was far out but I'd be happy it was close enough to capture via the camera as it's a song I've longed for since early last year. A sweet FOY and I'd be happy my persistence paid off in the end and I'd be rewarded with its lovely song.
Take care all.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Take care all.