Sunday, October 4, 2009

Barre Falls Hawkwatching and Other Birding

Alan and I headed to Barre Falls today to do a little hawkawatching with Donna and Don. As soon as we stepped out of the car we could hear the now familiar Pileated Woodpecker who seems to make his presence known whenever I go there. We could see a good sized bird land on a tree and sure enough there he was just staring at a small branch as we all stared at him. He sat there staring at the branch long enough for me to get a couple of digiscoped pictures. Much more cooperative than the Pileated in Grafton that's for sure!
As soon as we arrived we could see large flocks of migrating birds but they were not of the raptor kind but rather the Blue Jay kind. We stopped counting after 200 or so but they continued to migrate through, most of the morning.
Soon enough a few Accipiters decided to grace up with their presence including the Sharp-shinned Hawk above. A few seconds later a Cooper's Hawk followed but was too far away for a decent photo.

And what would we get after that??? Well a Northern Goshawk of course!!! This bird has purpose in its flight as it headed south. Was able to get some shots of it before it vanished for good though.
How cool is it to get all three accipiters in the same hour and by order of size going from smallest to largest! Very exciting way to start your Sunday morning. ;-).

We also some some American Kestrels, Broad-winged Hawks and a Turkey Vulture that was actually migrating which was really interesting to see because you could tell just by the way it was flying-which was with a purpose rather than leisure.
I decided to head to St Philips cemetery a little before dusk this evening to see what would be there. The first bird I saw was the Northern Flicker above.
There was also a now familiar face that decided to see if it could trick me again. Not this time buddy!
One of the most interesting things at St Philips this evening were the MANY Canada Geese. I had counted 40 and then stopped as I could hear a lot of passerine activity starting to develop in area trees.
Suddenly I could hear a flock of other Canada Geese coming to join them as they made their classic honking call. they never landed in the water but rather, the Canada Geese that were in the water honked back and formed their own flocks in the air.
The various flocks (some of only 4 and some of 15 or so would circle around the wetlands while other flocks seemed to form until finally they all flew off together. I know Canada Geese are common birds and a pain in the *** very often, but it was really interesting to see. Perhaps various northern migrators who will be wintering here or maybe just passing by??
Just about 20 minutes before the sunset, bird activity seemed to pick up drastically and it all centered around four trees in particular. The birds would fly from tree to tree making their various one note calls and disappear into thick foliage as I attempted to get my binoculars on them. Right the minute I spotted one with my bins, off it would fly into the next tree where I would attempt to follow it but get interrupted by the dozen or so other birds who flew into view.

I became dizzy after a while scanning the branches of this one tree and every so often I would see some familiar faces like that darn Eastern Bluebird, a Black-capped Chickadee and a Downy Woodpecker getting his last meal of the evening. But more often than not, it was a lot of small bird activity which caused me to whip out my camera in a flustered attempt to at least get a picture of the birds. And the photo above is a good example of how most came out. Too tired to try and identify them all tonight because I do like to sleep, but I have a chosen few I want to examine this week as I do think they have field marks I can decipher if I play with the lighting to my pics some.
And one more picture just because. I am not EVEN going to attempt this one as it would take me until next May when they all come back. The larger looking bird was chasing the smaller one though. Deja Vu all over again, just a different day.

Take care all.


Chris said...

Hi Kim,
What a day you got again. I would love to see flickers. They are beautiful birds. But you have seen so many things there. Well done on your previous posts too. I love the one on Turkey vulture.

Rich said...

The weather is changing, the birds are flying south and you are doing a great job of decumenting the change.

You have a real eye for birds and you make it interesting.

Ginnymo said...

You sure see a lot of different birds Kim!! I am hearing some of the geese flying over now. I love hearing them. I got some video tonight but not sure if it came out yet. Take care.


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