Saturday, November 7, 2009

Red-headed Woodpecker-Dracut, MA & Other Birds

Alan and I headed out to Dracut, MA this morning in hopes of getting the Red-headed Woodpecker I was anxious to see all week- but couldn't because of work.
We were expecting the place to be a madhouse with limited parking so was shocked to see there were only two other birders there trying to get a look at it themselves.
We used our binoculars and our scopes and scanned the trees and for some reason I decided to look up on the very tip top of the dead tree that people on MassBird keep referring to and wouldn't you know he was there all the time hiding!
This allowed for some very nice views with just the eye, the binoculars and the scope. I took the pictures above using Alan's scope and love how the camera was able to pick up those glorious feathers this bird has. One a scale of 1-10 for handsomeness, this bird is a 10! I could have gawked at him all day!
Back view. Love the colors on this bird with the red, black and the white secondaries and rump.
Also love the white underparts. All of these wonderful colors made for good photos because it was easy to get a decent contrast on the bird so the pictures didn't come out washed out.
It would take turns flying from this dead tree and then over to a cluster of smaller trees that still have leaves on them so getting looks at them there was a little more challenging. I never did see the juvenile, but one of the other birders that was there got a quick look at it over at the cluster of trees before it flew back into hiding.
Soon enough a Sharp-shinned Hawk decided to make a pit stop in that same area and we were all crossing our fingers that the hawk wouldn't decide to dine on either woodpecker as it would have kind of ruined the mood! As soon as the sharpie came the drumming stopped and there was no more flying as both the adult and juvenile decided it would be best to lay low. So with that Alan and I took off back toward Central Massachusetts to see if we could get any waterfowl. Should mention one added bonus before we left though which was a Rusty Blackbird in some trees near the side street! Very cool to see and I loved its pale iris which was very easy to see even with just binoculars!
Flight shot of the Red-headed Woodpecker, I kid you not!! Have no idea how it came out this way. It looks like a flying turtle or acorn! HA
We decided to stop at Fort Meadow Reservoir in Marlborough to see what was there and was very happy to not only see many Ring-billed Gulls, but some Herring Gulls and a Great Black-backed Gull as well! I was even more happy thinking this was Worcester County and I don't have either the GBB or the Herring for Worcester County this season, so was kind of bummed to find that Marlborough is in fact in Middlesex County. Doh!!!!
There were also a ton of Ruddy Ducks there. So many that it was overwhelming. Also had Common Mergansers, Hooded Mergansers and a Pied-billed Grebe (see list below for full count and be sure to look at the Ruddy Duck number!!). We also stopped at the Sudbury Reservoir in Southborough where we saw 253 Ring-necked Ducks!
And a picture of frost on grass this morning. It was bone chilling cold out this AM!! Take care everyone.

5--Canada Goose
1--Ring-necked Duck
11--Hooded Merganser
21--Common Merganser
220--Ruddy Duck
1--Pied-billed Grebe
1--Red-tailed Hawk
95--Ring-billed Gull
4--Herring Gull
1--Great Black-backed Gull
1--Song Sparrow


Carol said...

Nice shots. I have been intersted in digiscoping but have not tried it yet. I like the Red-headed woodpecker. The flying "turtle" was pretty neat too. Don't you just love those little surprises when you download?

Rich said...

Kim: Your pictures are beautiful!
It is hard to believe that you have only blogging for a year!

You really are a natural at blogging!

madcobug said...

Th woodpecker was beautiful! Great shots. Helen

eileeninmd said...

I love the redheaded woodie, one of my favorite birds. I wish I saw them more often.
Great series of photos.

Ginnymo said...

Great pictures Kim!! Love the frost one. It was that way here too. Winter is here I guess.

NCmountainwoman said...

I just love Red-headed Woodpeckers but don't see them around here. Very nice photographs.

Hilke Breder said...

Great shots of the Red-headed Woodpecker! I have never seen one and would love to drive there but took a look at the map and it's just too far for me.

Chris Petrak said...

When I first saw your post on the RHWO, I thought I had already commented, but that must be someone else's post (the mind is getting too cluttered). Good photos - not if you could just arrange to send those birds further north. But wait a week until I get back from Texas. A RHWO would put the cap on what I expect will be a week of good birding - tho you seem to be having good birding in your neighborhood

Mary said...

Wonderful woodpecker shots! That scope really brings it in. This is the one woodpecker that I never seem to see. Have only seen 1-2 in my lifetime.


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