Heading out to Wachusett Reservoir during the Nor'easter. Strangely enough, the roads were bare!
I decided to head out with Alan this morning to see if there would be any birds around local reservoirs and ponds trying to escape the Nor'easter. Confidence was rather low as I climbed into his truck with a rain coat that went down to my knees and a hood so big I had no peripheral vision, but being the eternal optimist, I held out hope!
The first stop was Lake Singletary in hopes that a Brant would be there just as it was in the past after a Nor'easter, but that was a "no go" as the only bird in the area was this rather odd looking Ring-billed Gull who was all by itself. When I say odd I am referring to how white it is on the forehead compared to many of the other RB gulls I have seen most recently.
Also doing me the honors of a side profile.
From there, we decided to head out to the Wachusett Reservoir to see what we could find.
Our first stop was Gate 36 where we could see a few cars parked and people near the shore! HA! Birders of course, who else would they be......Hopefully they are on a good bird to save us some work! Alas, we came to the realization they were fisherman hoping the storm would bring them fortune as well.
The only thing we could see were two Common Loons who were in close enough to see with just the eyes which was a good thing because visibility was so poor that the optics didn't do much good anyhow.
We made another stop at Mile Hill Road where visibility was even worse. You couldn't even see the gulls that are always on the point of an island there, all you could see were fogged up binoculars!!
We decided to make a stop at Coachlace too and while there were over 60 birds there (assuming all were scaup, we couldn't be 100% positive because the scope was useless at this point. For all we knew there were some Redheads mixed in, but one wouldn't know.
Refusing to give up, it was off to Orlando's Farm to check for Ruddy Ducks, gulls and other waterfowl. This place was actually pretty good with two Bufflehead, at least 5 Black Ducks and quite a few Ruddy Ducks and the usual gulls too.
Scanning the area with the gulls, I did find one lone Herring Gull mixed in the with Ring-billed. This has turned into one of my favorite things to do now and try and practice every chance I get. I am not quite there with waterfowl yet, as they are too complex for me still, but I like doing it with the gulls as it puts me in the same "zone" I get into when I hawkwatch. I just forget about everything around me and concentrate on the birds. If you practice enough it gets easier with time but it's always challenging and fun, even while its pouring outside! ;-)
Finally, we admitted defeat and headed home. I looked out my window and saw the first Goldfinch of the season at me nyjer feeder!
Did some birding yesterday morning before work and came to an area loaded with songbirds including the White-breasted Nuthatch above.
As well as a Golden-crowned Kinglet which was my first sighing of this bird this season in the town of Millbury.
And finally a picture of the Cooper's Hawk that lives in my neighborhood during the winter. I can always count on seeing her every morning before I head to work. Here she is in my neighbors yard looking around. The bird no longer flies off when she sees me, as I am probably not a threat to her because I respect her space. So glad she has decided to come back for a 2nd winter in a row.
Take care all.