Sunday, October 11, 2009

Forbush Bird Club-Winamusett WMA

A flock of Cedar Waxwings (including juveniles) taken at Winamusett WMA early in the morning.

I joined the Forbush Bird Club this Sunday morning for a birding trip at Winamusett Meadows in New Braintree, MA. The trip was led by Rodney Jenkins, who is an outstanding birder and does one of the best Screech Owl imitations I have ever heard which brought a lot of birds into view as they wanted to know who the offender was!

The trip started at 7AM and it was downright chilly so winter hats and gloves were a must! There was also a thick fog which caused the birds to stay behind shelter a little longer than normal. In fact, the fog was so thick that it made visibility low. This hot aired balloon above, should give you an idea of just how thick the fog was! No wonder the birds wanted to sleep in later than normal!
But alas, the birds finally emerged as the fog lifted and the sun shone bright. An Eastern Phoebe probably waking up and thinking its time to head a little further south real soon!
A pocket of Yellow-rumped Warblers suddenly appeared and went right to work at finding themselves some breakfast.
They were the only ones besides the Cedar Waxwings and Eastern Phoebe to come out of hiding. The much anticipated sparrows decided to bunker down just a little longer despite the screeching! ;-)
Everywhere you turned you would see a Yellow-rumped as well as hear their "dry chip call" as Rodney described it which it does indeed sound like. I had never thought of it like that so it's a good way to distinguish it from all of the other "chips" you often hear in the fall.
Soon enough, the sparrows emerged including this beautiful Savannah Sparrow who decided to tee up on a tree and enjoy the sun while we enjoyed it enjoying the sun.
Such gorgeous birds to photograph and one of the only birds I never mess up on when digiscoping.

There were also a fair share of Swamp Sparrows in the area including the one above.
And of course, what would any sparrow location be without the many Song Sparrows as they always seem to be part of the mix. We also had a couple of White-throated Sparrows and a White-crowned Sparrow but they were too quick to get a picture of. My goal bird for this month is a decent shot of a White-crowned, as they are just gorgeous birds and one small glimpse is just not enough for me. There was also one or two Lincoln's Sparrows there but I was never able to get a look at them. Maybe next time.
Next it was onto what appeared to be a corn field and recently plowed to see if we could find some American Pipit's. There were quite a few of them here, but finding them was quite the challenge as they blend in so well with the background. Getting a scope on them was tough, getting binoculars on them was tougher and getting an undigiscoped picture of them seemed impossible but I did manage a couple by locating the birds location by eye and then getting my camera to it searching for any movement at all and then going to full zoom real quick and get a shot! Life bird for me so I wish I could have gotten a better picture of it but I'm not complaining much.
Next it was onto another area of the WMA which was really nice to see as the foliage is just starting to really show through and contrasted nicely with the blue sky and green grass.
The were quite a few sparrows here as well as a Red-tailed Hawk and a huge gathering of American Crows as you can see in the picture above. They were creating quite a ruckus with their loud alarm calls as a couple of them went after the Red-tailed Hawk. Those poor Red-tailed Hawks never seem to get a break.
One of our last stops was to the blueberry field where we saw a Chipping Sparrow teed up on a branch.
We also saw Chipping Sparrows flying off of branches.
And Chipping Sparrows again teed up on branches. In summary, there were a lot of Chipping Sparrows here as well as some House Finches. I really like the picture above as it shows off the birds usually grayish rump that Rodney had pointed out to us that I had never really noticed before.
We also had a Bobolink teed up in the same location which was such a treat to see as I hadn't seen one in so long.
And, it actually stood still for a while which was a change from this past summer when they were always flying or hiding in tall grass.
Even in their non-breeding plumage these birds stick out as they are so lovely to look at.

And finally my first Ruby-crowned Kinglet sighting of the fall. Great to see this bird again!

Take care everyone.


Rich said...

Great pictures - as usual

Chris said...

Hi Kim.
Beautiful. I guess you enjoyed seeing cedar waxings. I hoped that they will come here with the hurricance we got directly from USA coast, but no, we got a yellow warbler instead which is kind of nice. i was able to see it but did not get any shots!

eileeninmd said...

Looks like a great birding trip. I love seeing the Cedar Waxwings, they are so pretty. You had a lot of wonderful bird sightings.

P said...

The cedar waxwings are my favorites! Lucky you!!


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