Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mount Wachusett-Meadows and Westborough

I started off my morning today at Wachusett Mountain in hopes of getting a couple of pics of some Winter Wrens which are VERY difficult birds to photograph. Sure enough right the minute I got out of the car, I heard the same one calling that was heard at our last Forbush trip there, in the same exact spot too. HA. Anyhow, I heard the Winter Wren, but never did see it. I did hear three others going up Pine Tree Hill Trail though as well as plenty of Red-eyed Vireo's, Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays and a Black and White Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler. I made it up to the top in less than 1/2 an hour and all that was up there were some bicyclists a 1/2 a dozen Cedar Waxwings and some poor women puking over the mountain! I guess the hike was too much for her with the heat and all. Anyhoo, that was my que to go back down the same trail and go elsewhere.
I decided to go back to Wachusett Meadows since that was on the way back to Rt190 in hopes of seeing my new obsession bird which is the Northern Goshawk. I spoke to an Audubon worker at the meadows who told me there where two other sightings that he knew of besides mine in the past two weeks so I decided to climb up to Brown Hill to get the best aerial advantage. Wouldn't you know the hawk was nowhere to be found of course. I guess I was just in the right place at the right time a couple of weeks ago.

Anyhow, one of the first birds that I did see when I arrived at the meadows was this very tame Red-tailed Hawk who was perched on a telephone wire and checking out the chipmunks below him. Matt (a fellow photographer I met there a couple of weeks ago) and I watched this bird for about 20 minutes hoping it would go down for a kill so we could both get pictures, but the hawk wanted to be no part of our plan. ;o). We did spend quite some time talking about camera equipment and I now want a new camera! I keep telling myself to run this one into the ground, but get camera envy whenever I see people with all of those fancy lenses like he has. WHY is camera equipment so expensive. Grrrrrrrr.

One highlight was this Great Egret that flew above our heads and over toward the wetlands (2nd Central Mass Great Egret sighting I have had this week!). I went over to the wetlands to see if I could find it but couldn't locate it.

Two Cedar Waxwings perched on a tree on top of Brown Hill. One of only a few birds up there besides some Eastern Towhees and Baltimore Orioles.

Decided to head out to Westborough after that and over to the Assebet Conservation Center where I saw the same Eastern Wood Peewee as I did last time in the same location. Birds are so funny like that. They NEVER seem to venture too far away from their territory.

Also saw a Yellow-throated Vireo which was a treat as the last time I saw one of those was quite a few weeks ago at Oxbow. This one was very loud and not making its primary call but rather a scolding call so my ears picked up on it right away as I was not familar with it.

And here is the reason for the scolding. Check out the little Juvenile right by its parents side. So cute. Note: Alan just sent me an email telling me to look at the bird above in further detail as it looks like a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and sure enough I did and I agree with him. So weird though. This bird was right next to the vireo and when the vireo took off, the gnatcatcher followed. THAT is what you get when you just assume things I suppose. ;o)

Take care all!


Ginnymo said...

Great photos Kim!! Love that Hawk. You always see so many birds...Hope your weekend is going well. Enjoy your Sunday.

Ratty said...

All of your bird photos are always very good. I think I have camera envy too when I see your pictures. I know my camera is still good enough for me, but I always want to rush out and get another one.

Chris Petrak said...

Good collection of photos from a good day of birding! I find the YBVI a tough bird to get a good look at, but you got some great views. Congrats!

Larry said...

Nice photos Kim. I've never officially seen a Goshawk but I suspect one may have flown right past my head while camping in Pachaug Forest.It was quick and I was unprepared for it. A Winter Wren would be a tough pic to get.-BTW-do you know much about Savoy Forest or Mohawk Forest in MA? I am camping at Savoy in early October.They have cabins there for 30 a night.

Penelope said...

I love the photo of the egret in flight, showing the beautiful curve of the wings.

Anonymous said...

The Red-tailed hawk is nice and healthy. I enjoyed my visit.

Help me Make History.
Pick a Peck of Pixels

Tina said...

Nice post Kim of some neat little birds..I always am in awe of those waxwings and will spend some much time trying to get that one good shot..while they rest AT THE TOP of that tree. You got some great shots of them..too bad that hawk wasn't interested in lunch..but then I always feel bad for the menu item when they make their kill.

dAwN said...

Kim..your shots are great..but I know what u mean about camera envy..
If only they could fit one of those lenses in a small point and shoot..


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