Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Birding and my Nemesis no more

My nemesis bird no more!
Alan and I did some birding today, with our first stop being Bolton Flats so I could try out my nifty new hip boots I got for birding in high waters and while the water had gone down some since the last time I was there, the hip boots would be necessary to get past the T at the flats so off we went. The weather was freezing as we made our way through thigh high waters in search for birds. One of the first birds we would see would be some Northern Pintails like the one above (FOY bird).
We continued along our way when suddenly we could hear a chip-a, chipa-a, chipa call and could see a bird flee and by sound assumed it was a Wilson's Snipe. A little further down the path, we would flush another and sure enough we got our binoculars on one as it was fleeing the scene. Wonderful to see as I had forgotten what shorebirds look like when they fly so it was quite the treat (especially considering it is a lifer for me), and I haven't had one of those in months. The other shorebird we would see today would be quite a few Killdeer like the one above.

As we were making our way along the waters, I suddenly heard the call of a Great-horned Owl which caused me to stop dead in my tracks. Alan said it is odd to have that type of owl calling during the day, but I was convinced I had heard it and low and behold as we were heading back, we both heard it again and believe it was a recording being used by local crow hunters nearby trying to bring in the crows as we heard gun shots too. No wonder there were not that many ducks on the water! While there were a few Green-winged Teal here and there, it was nothing like what we saw a few days ago.
After that it was onto Sterling Peat where we would see some Mallards, a Bufflehead and many Ring-necked Ducks like the lousy photo above where these two are gazing into each others eyes!
Alan suggested we stop at Wachusett where Kevin had reported a very cooperative Ruffed Grouse last week so off we went, but I seriously thought, we would never see it due to the fact that I just don't have good luck with this bird for some reason. We made our way near the top of the hill when suddenly we could hear the ruffle of leaves which I thought was a squirrel because why the heck would a grouse purposely be headed in our direction!!! It slowly appeared and I was astounded to see that it was in fact Kevin's grouse!
The bird would continue making its way a little closer to us as it proceeded to pick up leaves with its bill in search for food. The grouse got no more than 2 feet in front of me at one point which caused me to have to use my micro photography lens because it was so close all my photos were coming out blurry.
After about 100 photos of this bird we decided to leave her alone, but I honestly think she enjoyed the company! Highlight of my day as I spent about 4 hours total this past week trying to get it and I had no idea I would get one in this way. So cool and my new favorite bird for the month of March!
On our way back closer to home we came across these Manatee's who were all decked out in the St Patrick's Day attire. I guess they didn't get the memo that Easter is next week. So funny to see though and I love the little one.
Our final spot would be a place in Sutton to check to see if the Eastern Meadowlarks had returned yet. We would not see many birds there, but did have these horses above checking us out.

Take care all.


Steve Borichevsky said...

Nice Grouse. It's been a long time since I've seen them.

Hilke Breder said...

Kim, amazing photo of the ruffed grouse!! I have yet to see one, not just flush one.

Christopher said...

Killer grouse photo! I've never seen it that well. The only times I've ever seen them - they are a feathered butt flying away from me, as I am recovering from a minor heart attack after they've exploded from the ground nearby.


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