Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Mixed Bag of Birds

I am trying to really get out there during the work week this month with migration in full swing and decided to do some birding with Alan before work today and went to Brood Meadow Brook in Worcester. As soon as we arrived, we would see the Wild Turkeys above who appear to have something around their neck which seems to be a band of some sort. They would be all around the feeders and relatively tame, so I am guessing they are used to people.
We did quite a bit of walking and would hear many of the now common birds like a couple of Ovenbirds, Wood Thrushes, Eastern Bluebirds etc, and then Alan took me to an area I had never been before that is quite lovely with its marshes where all of the birds seemed to be gathered including this VERY tame Tree Swallow that allowed me to get close enough for a decent photo.
It didn't even seem phased by us being there so I am guessing its used to the crowd as Brood Meadow Brook is an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary and can get rather busy with hikers and nature lovers.
I would take like 20 shots of this bird and had to post my favorite three because I haven't been getting really good photos lately so it was nice to have a bird in clear view and not hidden by leaves and twigs for a change!
There are also some mud flats and we were treated to yet another shorebird sighting which is the Spotted Sandpiper in the photo above.
I would head off to work and decided to do a quick check on the Peregrine Falcons and I am happy to report is looks as if nesting was successful this year. If you look at the photo, you will see the female PG on the left of the fchp logo and the male is on the ledge way off to the right of it. This is typical behavior after the nestlings have hatched as both parents like to be out of the box and watching the air for any threats. So happy to see this and am anxious to know how many there are this year.
I would take a quick photo of the male when I went to go get coffee and the falcon doesn't even squack when it sees me anymore and will just give me a casual stare as I take its picture and admire him with my binoculars. Such a good dad!
I decided to head out at lunch and hit Notre Dame cemetery as it is fairly close to work. I would automatically hear some Eastern Kingbirds and one would land briefly so I could take its picture.
I would see quite a lot of the regular birds including two Canada Geese and one had some white right around its tail which caused me to give it more than a casual glance. My eyes would suddenly be drawn to its legs where I would see a band of some sort on it.
I decided to get close enough for a photo, but not close enough to freak it out and it looks as if its banded with a 1048. I actually reported this when I got home and got something back already and according to what I got via email, this goose what actually banded in Utah???
I would continue with my walk when suddenly I could hear the quack of a Mallard in the river below. It wouldn't be a normal quack, but the most panicked quack I had ever heard any duck do so I tried to get in a little closer to see if I could see the duck. I would see no duck, but the quacking would continue to get more panicked and I wondered if it was stuck in some brambles or something. The river is down a steep embankment with mud and I had my smart clothes on, but really wanted to know what was wrong with the duck and if there was anything I could do to help it as the cries were just too much for my sensitive soul and I couldn't just leave it there quacking away like that. I would play out in my head what I would do if the duck was in fact stuck and figured I could grab it with my jacket and lead it into the water without risk of injury. I would also remember I was at lunch and think about the steep, muddy hill and I would picture myself going back to work with mud all over my clothes and wounds from my rescue attempts and the looks on my bewildered co-workers faces as I told them I got attacked by a duck on my lunch hour. :-p
Just as I made my way down the embankment I would find out what was causing the ruckus and it would turn out to be a Red-tailed Hawk who was bathing in the river!!! Check out the photo above and the fact that the hawk looks like a drowned rat.
And this photo makes me laugh too. I so wish I could have seen it bathing as watching birds bathe is one of my favorite things to do and I can't even picture how cool it would be to catch a raptor doing it no less!
But the excitement doesn't end there folks, nosiree. I would see this Chipping Sparrow above all by itself and then suddenly it would have company.
Which would be another Chipping Sparrow where they would proceed to copulate right before my startled eyes! How cool is that!!! Much better way to spend my lunch hour than eating a cup of soup and reading MassBird posts so plan to get out there a little more often because all though I wouldn't get any new birds, the ones I got were all entertaining to observe.
I would continue to do more birding after work at Butler Farm in Millbury where I would get my 1st halfway decent shot of a Warbling Vireo above.
The winds would be strong at this point so I decided to do some pishing around some thick cover and would get a Blue-winged Warbler as well as the American Redstart above. Besides that the place would be quiet but I have a strong feeling the place is probably alive 1st thing in the morning when the winds are calm so will be getting back there to see what other kind of warblers are around.
I would take a walk through the woods hoping for a Red-eyed Vireo and all would be quiet except for an Ovenbird who was making a half hearted attempt at song. I would end the day on the hill there the Bobolinks usually are and there would be no Bobolinks today, but the grass would be green the the sky blue as the strong winds cooled me off after my walk through the woods.

Take care all.


Idaho Birder said...

Nice tree swallow photos. I love those colors!

Chad said...

I really like the Tree Swallows! What a great under-appreciated bird. One of the pics remind me of the "Mad Bluebird" picture I have seen.


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