Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Birding-Worcester County

I did some birding with Alan today with the fist stop being the Worcester Airport in hopes of getting my first of the year Eastern Meadowlark. We would get out of the car and all would be quiet on the birdsong front, except for one lone Savannah Sparrow that could be heard at a far distance. It would soon be apparent what was causing it as I would spot an American Kestrel perched on a branch while another one was in the air.
The American Kestrel was in the air trying to escape attack from an American Crow which was rather interesting considering Kestrels are known for their spunk and you don't see them backing down from anything. We would also have a Cooper's Hawk here so it seemed to be very popular with bird eating raptors, hence the bird silence I suppose.
While there would not be that many birds, we would see two deer in the section of the airport where the runway is. Love the picture and the one on the right because it's ears are so big in comparison to its body and I am thinking it's a youngin.
Since we were striking out at the Airport we went on to Mullbury Street to try our luck there, and despite there being a Sharp-shinned Hawk, we would finally see an Eastern Meadowlark who was perched up high on some wiring and singing its heart out for us.

As you can see in the photo above. Seriously, such a stunning bird and one I have missed. Not only is it beautiful, but its song is intoxicating to hear, especially on a day as nice as today with warm sunshine and blue skies.

After that we would take off to Bolton Flats and while I don't have any pictures, I did see some pretty cool birds including a first of the year Greater Yellowlegs. There would be three of them in the same area who were running around in search for food. We would make out way to the "T" at the flats and would be lucky enough to hear another cool bird song which would be that of the Sora who was in another area of the flats but rather vocal so it was easy to ID by ear which would be another bird to add to the yearly list. Since we were on a roll we headed to Mount Wachusett where I got my first of the year Winter Wren. The place would be too crowded for dilly dallying so after we got the wren we decided to head to another area in Princeton where there are known Northern Waterthrushes to see if they had returned yet.

It wouldn't take us long to verify that they were back as less than two minutes of us arriving there, we could hear their "nice old ladies don't chew, chew, chew" song. Yes, that is how I have it programmed in my head as that is how I learned it from one of my CD's and it obviously worked because I knew it right the minute I heard it coming from some thick brush. HA. If you think that's a doozy you should hear some of the other ones. ;-)
A very cool bird to get this early in the year. I should also note that this is the first year I am seeing the warblers with my binoculars. Last spring, I did all of my birding with my camera and let me tell you seeing a warbler up close and personal with your bins is wonderful. I will still normally go for my camera first for a record shot, and once I get that out come the bins for a view and I will always lose my breath for one brief second as I drink in all of the lovely detail I can see on the bird. Sigh, I just love spring.
In the afternoon, I would take off on my own to SuAsCo in Westborough where I would hear a familiar noise coming from the brush pile, so I knelt down low to try and locate it. It wouldn't take me long to spot a Brown Thrasher who was having himself a little snack. This bird is not a neat picker by any means as it would lift up leaves furiously and loudly with its bill. I knelt down like that for 3 minutes or so and it wouldn't even notice me because it was so absorbed in its task at hand.
I would soon find out this thrasher was not alone because I would walk further along the path and run into another one that was on the ground.
And like they say on TVLand, Three's Company and I would see another male perched in a tree and singing its heart out. Another love triangle going on it appears and it will be interesting to see how this turns out. What would be funny is that there would be two males singing away in fairly close proximity to one another and it was so loud you couldn't hear any other bird song because of it.
But while you couldn't hear the birds singing, you could see them including this very handsome Chipping Sparrow above.
And finally a lousy shot of my first of the year Green Heron I would get yesterday morning before work. Wondering where the Great Egret is from last year though and not holding out much hope that it will be around anytime soon as they seem to be somewhat delayed this year with their arrival in Massachusetts. MassBird isn't even reporting on them much yet.

Take care all

1 comment:

Larry said...

Nice shots of the waterthrush. Not always an easy bird to get a good shot of.


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