Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Night Birding-Millbury

I decided to do a little birding after work today and headed over to the Brierly area to see if I could get some fall warblers in, even though they all still confuse me, but wanted to at least try. I looked over at the small pond near the parking lot and there was one lone male Wood Duck mingled in with the rest of the Mallards.
My natural instinct takes over which is to tip toe as close to the duck as possible while adjusting my camera settings knowing any moment now the bird will fly off in a total panic while I am stuck with a picture of water and no bird.
The funny thing was, the bird never flew off, but instead came closer!
Changing angles every now and then and even getting into better light so I could get better shots.
The Wood Duck was following the Mallards as he was an official member of the gang! What was funny about this whole scenario was that the Mallards would do their indigent Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack call (the one that always makes me laugh because it sounds like Snoopy when he's yelling at Charlie Brown), and every once in a while the male would follow suit with it's zeeting whistle. Too funny!
An out of sequence photo of a drake Mallard I took at Brierly Pond (separate from the pond where the Wood Duck is). You may recall me posting a picture of this duck a month or so ago because of the condition of this poor little guys bill, as you can see it doesn't seem to bother him much as he is still alive and kicking or rather quacking!
The Great-blue Heron was at its usually spot and I thought the pretty fall foliage reflecting off of the waters edge would add a nice touch. The heron actually stuck around for me this time which was an added plus.
As I was leaving to go toward the Brierly woods area for some warbler birding, I could see more Mallard's flying by and landing in the water including the one above. How cool is this shot!!! I am getting dangerous with my flight shots lately, all due to hawkwatching as I am getting a trigger finger because I have no choice. You snooze, you lose so you better be ready to push the button real quick!
A picture of a female Downy Woodpecker foraging from an extremely small branch. Talk about eating like a bird! Anyhow, that's it for the pictures in the Brierly woods. There were a ton of mountain bikers there so a lot of birds were not around and I got to talking to one I have seen there a few times who both trail runs and mountain bikes. He and I have exchanged emails some as I am thinking of getting a mountain bike for next spring so instead of birding, I spent most of my time gabbing. That's not to say I didn't get any other birds though. I got the usual Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, etc, and even two different types of warblers.

As usual, they were their elusive little selves and would come into view for a split second before I could even get my binoculars on them. Out came the camera as I pished hoping for at least one shot or two shots and that's exactly what I got before it flew off again. I looked at one and have been pouring through my guides and still can't figure so I will do that when I have time and am looking at the St Philips Warblers I am trying to identify. The other one was what I thought was a Common Yellowthroat. I saw the bird peeking it's head out at me and all I could see was its wee little head and yellow throat. Aha, I say to myself! At least I got one I can identify, as I take a couple of really quick shots before it flies off for good. Blow the picture up on my screen and the darn bird has wing bars that I never saw through the bins because it was hidden!!!! SOB!!!

I continue to bird from my office window during lunch and a couple of quick glances here and there whenever I get a chance. The picture above is what I am assuming to be Canada Geese flying through downtown Worcester and headed south. I am telling you my downtown Worcester list is getting pretty impressive!
Two Turkey Vultures went by during lunch and not in their usual manner. I can always see a TV in the sky when I take a look and they are always circling around like they usually do. These two headed South rather quickly with no circling what so ever, so perhaps they are migrating? ETA: I have been keeping my eyes peeled the the HawkCount site and sure enough hundreds of Turkey Vultures are starting to migrate down here so keep your eyes sky as they should be pretty hard to miss!

Yesterday morning after getting my coffee from Dunkin Donuts I was treated to seeing a Cooper's Hawk terrorizing the local birds as it flew in the air heading in a South East direction. It decided to hang around long enough for me to confirm it as one vs a Sharp-shinned Hawk (due to it's steadier wing beats, larger head and finally tail). The male Peregrine was on his usual ledge so every once in a while I would take a look at him to see if he would notice the hawk as I remembered what happened last time a Coops had the audacity to enter the falcon's domain. Anyhow, the male Peregrine didn't even take notice as he was too busy looking at his feet!!!

Take care everyone


Chris Petrak said...

I love your phrase - you snooze, you lose. Even wide awake, things happen so fast that it takes luck to get the shot, and even more to get a good shot. And BTW, some of the best birds at a hawk watch are not hawks - like your Pileated from a previous post. Glad to see others that also take pictures of Mallards - familiar birds are not less beautiful just because they are familiar. Of course, even beautiful Mallards get pushed aside when a Woodie is present.

Kim said...

Hey there Chris, I am starting to really appreciate the more "common birds" as they are always there like and old friend. Mallards are indeed beautiful birds and sometimes you forget. I guess it takes a period of eclipse plumage for us to remember, at least for me. I missed that brilliant color on the males and the Wood Duck is as magnificent looking as he was this spring!

So true about luck with flight shots. Sometimes they are too far away and too quick to get a picture as they are just passing by and won't do you the honors of stikcing around!

Noticed you were the counter for Putney yesterday and glad to see the Sharp-shinned hawks are getting a little more frequent for you!

Take care.

Chris said...

Hi Kim.
I would love to see wood duck. They never happen to loose themselves in our direction... A pity, the are beautiful birds and I love the shots you got because the colours are wonderful there!
I agree with Chris too, don't forget that chance is also important when shooting birds... It plays a big role and I can tell you that my best shots of the year are indeed due to chance alone!!

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Love the start of fall colors in your pictures! We are a few weeks behind you in MD. Your Wood Duck is quite the handsome fellow!


Related Posts with Thumbnails