Saturday, May 1, 2010

Forbush Bird Club-Leicester and other birding

I attended the Forbush Bird Club Trip in Leicester today which was led by Susan which started off at Mullbury Street and as soon as we arrived we would be inundated by bird song which was wonderful to hear because it was a clear indicator that we would see a lot of good birds which we would soon find out. Susan has super sharp hearing and could hear a Black- and White Warbler so off we went to go search for it and as we were looking we would hear our FOY Ovenbird which was a sound that was welcome to hear after the long, dreary winter we had. We would continue along our way and see quite a few other birds with the highlight being the Black-and white Warbler finally but the lighting was so bad I never would manage to get a decent picture of it, but was very happy with the look I got of it through my binoculars.

We would all get in our cars and make our way to our 2nd destination and Susan had stopped the car caravan because she had heard something distant yet again, which turned out to be our FOY Blue-winged Warbler which is without a doubt one of my favorite warbler songs because it was one of the 1st ones I remembered so it would be another great bird to get for the day. We would all be looking around with our bins to get a visual on it, when Alan would spot our FOY Scarlet Tanager so needless to say, that was quite the productive stop!
We would continue onto Sylvester Street where there would be song coming at every angle and while it was indeed welcome, it was a little overwhelming because they were all singing at once. We would hear more Ovenbirds here, some Black-throated Greens, a Northern Parula and finally hear and spot a FOY Black-throated Blue which was another great bird to get this early in the year. Seriously, they must have all migrated over night because we got some fantastic birds we wouldn't think we would get this early in the year so it was like an early Christmas or something. ;-).
And not only would the birds be showing off their brilliant colors but so would the woodland flowers including this very lovely Purple Trillium above.
We would make our way along the path where we would bump into pockets of birds here and there including another Northern Parula, more Ovenbirds, Blue-headed Vireos and this very bizarre looking Cedar Waxwing above.
The most numerous of birds the entire day were the White-throated Sparrows in which we easily saw well over 50 of them. They would be going past us by the dozen and landing in brush or directly on the path and we would all put our bins on them making sure we didn't have anything in there that was not a white throat. They would sing their beautiful song and we would get some incredible looks at the very handsome males in their breeding plumage, but the highlight would be seeing a couple of them enjoying themselves in a puddle smack in the middle of the path. A couple of them would be drinking which was fun to watch as they tipped their heads back to get a good drink, and then a couple more would be doing one of my favorite things to watch birds which is take a bath. So cute to see them getting their little bodies in the tiny puddle and shaking about and you could clearly see they were really enjoying themselves.

Suddenly, we would be delighted to see a Palm Warbler join in on the fun and it was obvious this bird really takes his bath time seriously as he bathed for a good five minutes as we all stood their watching his every move. Bruce would have his really nice camera and the bird was so absorbed in his bathing that he was able to get some shots so it will be really interesting to see how they come out. One of the highlights of the day (which is saying a lot because there were many). I have never seen a warbler bathe before and the sun would shine in such a way that his vibrant plumage of his sparkled which was a feast for the eyes.
Here is another lousy, distant shot, but I like it just the same. Seriously, I have a list of "so cute" moments in my head with different birding experiences I have had since I started birding and this is in the top 10. So cute!!!!

We would end the trip with a very impressive list of birds including some House Wrens and another Blue-winged Warbler so all it all, it was a great way to spend a Saturday as spring definitely seems here now, so enough of the lousy weather and bring on more warblers!
After that Alan and I would head to Bolton Flats to look for the Lesser Yellowlegs as we had missed them where we were there yesterday morning and it didn't take us long to find them as there were three of them. I really like this shot because it shows off that smaller bill it has compared to the Greater Yellowlegs. Another thing I would pick up on was how dainty it walks compared to a Greater Yellowlegs. It's steps are a lot more graceful almost ballerina like vs. the Greater who would clearly needs dancing lessons if ever given the opportunity as he walks more the a T Rex. Another highlight would be seeing two of them chasing after each other which was interesting to see as they are not on breeding territory. One would be more dominant and chase the other off, but the other one would return defiantly only to be chased off again.
I would take off on my own for Assebet/ SuAsCo in Westborough to see if the Yellow-throated Vireos were back yet and I would immediately hear a Ruby-crowned Kinglet when I got out of the car. I would spend a couple minutes looking for it, but would never see it. I would make my way down the trail and hear many warbling Vireos and then finally the Yellow-throated. I would manage to get one good look at it with my bins and then it would proceed to fly up higher into the trees and leaf cover so I was never able to get a photo. I figured I would do better further down the path as last year I got a fantastic photo of one in a spot there so off I went. Suddenly I could hear some scolding like sounds coming from the spot I saw the vireo last year and was able to locate the bird but it wouldn't turn out to the the Yellow-throated Vireo, but a FOY Baltimore Oriole instead! I would also get one of the Brown Thrashers here as well as a Gray Catbird so I was glad I decided to get over there to check on the vireos as I got some other bonuses mixed in.

Take care all!

1 comment:

A New England Life said...

Kim you sure do see a lot of birds on your outings. Things I've never seen before. I too am loving all the song birds first thing in the morning. Some of them I recognize, some I don't.

It sure was nice to see the Baltimore Orioles yesterday, and hear the Wren this morning!


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