Tuesday, September 15, 2009

St Philips Cemetery, Grafton

Have been to St. Philips a couple of times over the past several days and slowly but surely the birds are slowly starting to trickle in. I was over there this past Saturday and sure enough I could hear the familiar call of my beloved male Pileated Woodpecker that I have not heard much since late spring. I stopped dead in my tracks and scanned the trees with my bins and sure enough there he was in his glory, but much too far away for a decent photo. I just KNEW he and hopefully the misses would be visible after breeding was over with. I did hear them once right after breeding was over, but wasn't able to see one of them until now so it was a welcome site indeed!
I decided to head over there again tonight after work to see if I could do some fall warbler birding which is something I have been avoiding as I have heard it could be quite the challenge due to the fall plumage cycle these birds have. I get confused enough over the various colorful warblers so the thought of having to get out there to try and identify them in fall plumage can be a little intimidating for a newbie such as myself but I figured I would never learn if I didn't at least try and try I did. Not too many warlbers to speak of but I was lucky enough to see this lone Juvenile(?) American Kestrel perched on the same dead snag as the Merlin a couple of weeks ago. The sun was not at all in my favor when I eyeballed the bird and knew immediately just by the silhouette of the bird that it was a falcon of some kind and it was smaller than both the Peregrine and Merlin so was excited to get my first Kestrel here. I put my bins on the bird and wasn't able to get the vivid colors this bird is so known for so decided to whip out my camera for a few pictures of record despite the fact that I knew they would come out lousy.
I had decided before I left St Phils that this was indeed a Kestrel but wanted to double check with the pictures and am confident that this is in fact what it is. Based on the two mustaches if you will for lack of a better word.

Okay, nothing to see here folks so just move along (especially your Fran! ;-)). This is OBVIOUSLY a Downy Woodpecker on a tree with a huge honkin orange leaf hiding its back. As if anyone couldn't figure that out, sheesh!

Take care everyone. Will try and do some more fall warbler birding this week here and there and may do some hawkwatching this weekend. I went up to Mount Watatic this past Sunday to hawkwatch and its a totally different element of birding that I experienced for the first time. It's very relaxing but EXTREMELY challenging as the birds are so far away that it's hard to find them unless you are an experienced hawk watcher. Once you do find them more often than not they are small specks in the sky so unless you know your raptors extremely well, you have no idea what it is. Very rewarding though to see them even if they do appear to all look the same to you though. ;-).

Take care everyone.


Hilke Breder said...

Kim, your mystery bird looks like a downy woodpecker to me with a leaf obscuring its back - with the bird partially hidden in foliage, it's easy to get misled - has happened to me many times before.

Anonymous said...


Mystery bird...yellow/orange is leave from the tree. Black and white bird is simply a female downy woodpecker...I believe. Hard to judge size from pic, so it could also be a hairy. I was on Watatic for part of Monday...you're right about the distant specs on the horizon. Have a great day.
Marc (from Worcester, Ma)

Kim said...

OMG all! HA, I am sitting here in my office dying, seriously I am. Face is now red as a beet as I go back and realize that that is in fact a leaf and not the pluamge of the bird. The funny thing is that I kept thinking woodpecker to myself due to the black and white after around its wings and the black and white head but REFUSED to believe it because of the organge on its back. Going to change post now and say NOTHING! OMG, perhaps I should go back to a hobby more suited for me like skimming stones our something like that. Runs away embarassed. ;-)

Kim said...

Hi Marc, thanks for visiting my blog! Glad you got to go to Watatic which is IMO the best mountain in Central MA. Glad to see you had some success w/ the Broadwings on that day too.

woodpecker said...

I first read this post after you had changed it, then read the comments, it gave me a good laugh.
But do not think of giving up being a fan of the birds, making mistakes adds to the fun. I (and if truth be known everyone else who watches birds) have trained my bins on distant rocks and leaves trying to make out what they are.
I will continue to follow your birding exploits with delight.

Hilke Breder said...

Kim, you made me laugh. I usually get put in my place on birdforum.net - the bird ID forum. Many many times I was convinced I had some kind of rare bird, which then to my embarrassment turned out to be very ordinary.

Rich said...

Great pictures Kim! I wish I had a camera as good as yours. I have seen a lot of birds but the shots are crummy.


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