Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bolton Flats (Virginia Rail) & Forbush Bird Club-May 17th

I spent another day birding today and managed to get a few lifers in despite the lousy weather. Alan and I went to Bolton Flats in the afternoon to search for the reported Sandhill Crane that was spotted there yesterday and late this morning. Despite our best efforts we were unable to locate it. When we got there we saw about 1/2 dozen other people all there for the same goal and I am hoping they lucked out since many drove long distances to get it. While we didn't get the crane we did manage to see closeups of a family of Virginia Rails (LIFER!). I am telling you seeing this bird gave me that birding high that I long so much for. The bird is so magnificent that words cease to come and you are overcome with awe in seeing a bird as beautiful as this one. This is now my new favorite bird for the month of May!
Check out the black and white under its breast and near its rump. Mother nature was feeling quite artistic the day she created this bird.

Another shot of one preening itself. It spent a lot of its time doing this and didn't even seem to notice us.

Another closeup. I took a lot of pictures of the rails and wanted to post them all because I doubt I will ever get this fortunate again to get shots like these. Yup, a birding high to say the least.

Last one I promise!

Lousy digiscope pictures of another lifer for me which is the Semipalmated Plover. This bird looks similar to the familiar Killdeer but has one band underneath its neck vs. the two of the Killdeer. These birds are very quick so decent pictures were not possible, at least for me.

Another blurry shot of them. I believe there were 3 or 4 in total.

Better digiscope pictures of Least Sandpiper. Such a striking bird and they are all over Bolton Flats.

We spent most of the morning at Buck Hill in Spencer for a Forbush Bird Club field trip. The weather was damp and raw but Susan our leader did a fantastic job finding us birds which was quite the challenge due to the dreariness of the day. Here is a picture of an Ovenbird which is now my official nemesis bird of the year. I can't manage a decent shot of this bird for the life of me. It taunts me all day with it's manic Teacher, Teacher, Teacher call letting me know it's in the woods yet I can't get lucky enough to get a clear picture. I will get it by the end of the summer but I want it now. ;o)

Another lousy photo of the Black-throated Blue Warbler. I am telling you weather conditions were terrible and so clear shots were not in my fortune this morning.

A semi-view of the Common-Yellowthroat.

An extremely hidden view of the Black-throated Green Warbler. This one was hard to get as it didn't want to come down any lower so all I got were some butt shots.

Susan took us to a lovely river in search for various thrushes and many could be heard but not seen. Such a pretty river though. So much different than the Blackstone which is in my town. The Blackstone has been plagued with pollution in the past so it was nice to see on this clean and clear.

On our way back from the field trip we saw this family of Canada Geese in a homeowners pond. We backed up to get a better look at a Great-blue Heron that I saw and to my excitement we saw the proud family with their goslings. So cute! Yes Canada Geese can be filthy, loud and obnoxious but they are still so pretty to look at.

Pictures of wildflowers from our field trip. Here is a picture of Trillium. I don't know what kind as wildflowers are completely new to me but all of the other birders new the exact name of it. I don't know how these people do it. They know so much about birds, butterflies, wildflowers, etc and I am still trying to get my warblers straight. It's a great way to learn though and each day I learn something new.

My first of the year Ladyslippers.

Finally Painted Trillium. Seeing these gorgeous wildflowers puts many of my favorite backyard flowers to shame. Sometimes the most beautiful things in life are those that are untamed, wild and uncontroled by man. A walk in the woods will get you there if you take the time to do it.


Carol said...

The Sand Hill Cranes are beautiful birds..shame you couldnt find them. My husband and I spotted a couple from our boat one afternoon. We were surprised to see them in such a swampy area.
I will be posting them on my blog:

Richard said...

You definitely crack me up. A new favorite bird every 3

Little Brown Job said...

Great shots of the Rail, looks very much like our Water Rail, beautiful bird :-)

madcobug said...

You got some great pictures of some beautiful birds and wildflowers. Good closeups of the Rail. Helen

Chris Petrak said...

You got the RAIL! That was a target for this year, wasn't it? Great! & a great day of birding.

Anonymous said...

You still managed to get some nice shots, and I guess some were special for you.

Kallen305 said...

Carol, I will be sure to check out your blog more and can't wait to see your pictures.

Richard, I can't seem to make up my mind. Every week I find new birds that I adore so every week I have a new favorite. ;o
LBJ: Isn't it gorgeous. I am going to have to check out your Water Rail now because I am curious to see the similarities.

Maco, the wildflowers are so lovely this time of the year. It's funny because I have always hiked even before birding, but never noticed them much.

Yes Chris, I got the Rail!!! I actually thought of you after I got the shots and thought back to your blog entry in VT and your gorgeous rail shots!! I never imagined I would see one much less get a picture of it. INCREDIBLE and just proves your point about how birds sometimes come to you when it is calm and quiet.

Abe, it was a special day indeed. It seems as if I have had quite a few of them this month with all of the migrants.

Chad said...

Oh wow, I am so jealous of you day! You got a few birds that I need. The Ovenbird and the Virginia Rail! Also, that Orchid - Wow! I have never seen an Orchid wild in my state even though they are here. Awesome!

A New England Life said...

I think it's wonderful all the birds you've seen in the past few months! Good for you Kim! Your enthusiasm is contagious. Keep it going!


dAwN said...

Wow you have been one busy birding gal! Great shots of the Rail!
If I get to your area ..I will look you up for a birdie adventure!

Shellmo said...

I hope you get see those Sandhill Cranes - but your other birds you saw were definitely not shabby!!

Kallen305 said...

Chad, come up to Massachusetts and you will see them I can almost guarantee. The Ovenbirds are everywhere and the Virginia Rails breed at Bolton Flats. Your list is quite impressive already and it would explode if you ventured north as I know you don't get all of the birds we do in Indianna! It will be like your Florida trip but in reverse. ;p)

Thanks Sharon, I am a passionate person by nature and when I get into a hobby, I do it full force. Of course that sometimes back fires against me as I tend to burn out, but this is a hobby I will be keeping. I usually burn out after six months but not this time. There is too much to see so you can never burn out. I do get tired on occasion though. ;o)

Dawn, next time you and hubby are in NE you should bring your home on wheels to Massachusetts. It would be so much fun to bird w/ the two of you

Kallen305 said...

Shelley, I will get that crane no matter what. Maybe not this year but I will still get it. I have been eyeballing it in my Peterson Guide and it makes me long to see it even more. HA I torture myself. Kind of like staring at chocolate cake when you are on a diet. ;o)

Vickie said...

Beautiful rail! What a fun find. I would have been high too. And the trillium and lady's slippers are always beauties to find. My favorite warbler was the one hidden by the pine very warbler-like! Wonderful post.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Kim, That Virginia Rail is a gorgeous bird. I have never even heard of him... Is he there to stay--or is he migrating???? Where does he spend his winters?????

Beautiful trillium also... Sounds like you had a good day despite the rains. Hope you get to see the Cranes sometime.


Ratty said...

I think I like the geese the most because I can get good pictures of them every time with my camera. All of the other birds are great though. I have the same problem identifying flowers.

Kelly said...

Holy moly, what a day you had! A Virginia Rail would be a life bird for me as well. Congrats.

Ginnymo said...

You sure had a good day, seeing all those birds! I love the geese and their babies!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Looks like another great birding day. Love the Rail.

Deborah Godin said...

You got some great shots of the rail, and an impressive array of warblers and other small stuff! Well done!!

Steve B said...

Great Rail shots! I've been looking from Trillium ever since I got back to the East Coast. I thought they all went extinct!

Ali said...

Beautiful photos! I love the Rail, awesome markings! And the Trillium pics are so pretty, I just love wildflowers =)

The Early Birder said...

Another new day AND more new birds. Great pics of the Rail Kim, well done.

P.S. As you say a little work req'd with the digi-scoping. I'm not sure what equipment you are using, but if you want to e-mail me ( I'll be more than happy to offer some suggestions. Cheers FAB

MaineBirder said...

WOW, the Rail is beautiful! That would be a life bird for me as well.

It's a bummer when the weather doesn't cooperative for good photography. The weather man promises one thing and the exact opposite happens... grrrrr!!


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