Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday Birding-Powerlines & a Love Triangle

I decided to do local birding today and did most of it in the various powerlines that are in Millbury. These are some of my favorite spots to go to but this time I decided to explore areas that I had never seen before. The first thing I realized is there are a lot of powelines in this town which means a lot of land for birds who thrive in that habitat. In fact, I did about 5 miles of hiking through them today and need to go back tomorrow because there is still more that I didn't see! Anyhow, the picture above is of the Eastern Towhee, a familiar bird at almost any powerline you will go to in Massachusetts.
A Gray Catbird on a nest. I like Catbirds, really I do, but I would like to tell them to quiet down on occasion because they are so noisy, they interfere with my hearing other birds. They are funny though and I never realized how well they mimic until I heard one today imitating a Blue Jay today!

We interrupt this informative post for another episode of as the Goose Turns. During out last episode, the Graylag Goose shown above was seen hanging around with a pair of Canada Geese and it appeared as if it was trying to seduce the female which the male Canada Goose did not seem to mind. Weeks went by and Alan and I would see the trio out on occasion but today things got a little more heated and confusing.

Meeting the new goslings in town. I took one look at them and assumed that both parents were in fact Canada Geese, until a woman who lives across the street from Brierly Pond came over to give them their daily dose of bread. She called out to them and suddenly dozens of geese and Mallards came out of the water knowing it was time for lunch. I took pictures of them while she fed them the bread and then she gave me local gossip on what the real deal is between the three. She told me that the Graylag has been in hiding for the past three weeks and last week was the first time it came for bread and with the goose came the goslings!! She thinks the Graylag is female and the mother of these babies!! Is that correct? I have no idea, if you look at the pictures they don't seem to show any signs of being a hybrid, but what the heck do I know (remember I mistook a snow bank for a Great Egret this late winter!). An expert I am not!

I am going to have to take a look at them next week to see what they look like. Right now they look like plain old Canada Geese, but I guess it is subject to change just like our weather.

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

While we are on the subject of babies, check out these young Mallards. They too know the sound of this woman's voice and they all came over to gorge on bread.

With mom close by of course.

And just when you thought things couldn't get any more exciting, I proudly present another game of Name that Bird. That's right, the perfect opportunity for those in the blogging community to help me out and shine in the lime light. I was in the woods at Brierly today when suddenly I could hear the call of the Eastern-wood Peewee. It sounded really close so I tried pishing which didn't seem to appeal to him. I then whistled his tune and to my astonishment it worked!!! HA, I thought as I got a look at him and clicked away. He didn't stay there long and as quick as he landed, he flew away. I was disappointed he didn't stay longer but happy for a record shot, that is until I got home. THIS is what I see when I blow up the picture. Hmmmmmm, I think as I open up all four of my various bird guides for identity. I can't see the wing bars on this photo for comparison and the white chest is throwing me off too. I am convinced the Peewee was the bird that landed on the branch because I could hear it do it's Peewee call upon landing but now the photo has me all confused.

And now onto my new bird identity nightmare which are fledglings. Check out this bird all!! It was in the woods with its sibling and totally mesmerized by my pishing! My first guess was Song Sparrow, but it was in a woodland habitat which is making me second guess.

I just hope the poor thing gets feathers on his head quickly as he looks like Frank Purdue!!!! What do you all think? Even google couldn't help me with this one.

While at Brierly I also saw a pair of Ovenbirds frolicking about and chasing after each other in play.

The other one.

My first dragonfly photo. I have no idea what kind it was, but I couldn't help but notice there were tons of them everywhere I went today.

And a heads up to everyone on the Forbush Millbury trip last week. Check out what is NOW in the nest box we went to!! I have no idea what happened to the Eastern Bluebirds but it seems as if they have moved out and the swallows have moved in!

Pappa? standing guard.

More pictures of the young Red-tailed Hawks. I couldn't resist as it was so nice out today and I knew I could get better pictures. Check out those eyes. So cute!

I also noticed they are a lot bigger than I first thought.

A picture of one of the prettiest butterfly's I have ever seen. Blue is one of my favorite colors so I was automatically drawn to it. Check out the orange underneath. So pretty.

And last but not least is a picture of a Ring-billed Gull. I love taking pictures of gulls and can watch them for hours as I find them very entertaining. I went to EMS today to buy some pants and some of the laggards who are not mating this year are still around. Nothing in comparison to the winter obviously which made it picture worthy.

Take care everyone!


Ginnymo said...

Amazing photos again Kim!! I can't help you on the identity of those birds. Ha! I hardly know any. Love all the baby geese and ducks. They are so cute. And the hawks are adorable!! You always get so many different birds etc. It must be so exciting. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Richard said...

My best guess on your mystery bird is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great photos, Kim... I love seeing the babies---especially those hawks... Too cute!!!!!

That is neat that that woman feeds the ducks and geese... It's great that they recognize her voice.

If you don't know which bird is which, then you know that I have NO idea!!!! ha

Have a great Sunday. Going birding?

Rich said...

Your pictures are just getting better and better. Butterfly and dragonfly - great.

Jayne said...

No clue about the bird ID. Fascinating about the possibility of the pairing of the Graylag and the Canada Goose!

troutbirder said...

I am definitely fascinated by the goose parenting mystery. Hope you are able to get to the bottom of it.

Chris said...

beautiful birding day and nice pictures. We are starting to see babies too here, although most species are still nesting.

mon@rch said...

The babies are SOOO cute!

Steve B said...

Your fledgling has me stumped. I'm wondering if he fell out of the nest a week too soon.

Patrick Belardo said...

The mystery photo is definitely a flycatcher of some kind. The butterfly is a Red-spotted Purple AKA a Red-spotted Admiral. I think your dragonfly is a female Common Baskettail. That's the best guess I can offer. Sounds like a nice day out.

Larry said...

Love the Red-tailed hawk photos-I hate guessing photos because I'm not good at at it.-I send them to birdforum for id.Sounds like some funny business going on with those geese.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim, Regarding the fledgling,
the front view made me think a
possible thrush. But that side
view and head profile made me
think Cowbird. It does seem odd
there would be two of them at the
same place, but suppose anything
is possible.
Hap in New Hope (MN)


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