Friday, May 21, 2010

Whip-poor-wills, Dowichers, Marsh Wrens and others

I did some more birding Thursday night and attended a Forbush Bird Club trip in Lancaster that started off at Bolton Flats. The trip was led by Bart and he would already be there and locate a Short-billed Dowicher (FOY) which was a pleasant surprise as it was unexpected which made it even sweeter. I would attempt photos but they came out so bad, I am too embarrassed to post them and that's saying a lot! There would also be a pumping American Bittern and a Sora calling and Common Nighthawks flying overhead as the warm sun still shone bright so it was a fantastic way to start off the trip and end the day.

We would take off to the Lancaster WMA for Whip-poor-wills but got much more than that including a Vesper Sparrow!, Grasshopper Sparrow! Field Sparrow and Song Sparrow, so it was a really good sparrow trip which is pretty darn impressive considering it's not fall yet when that's when you normally bird for the sparrows. We would finally get to a location where the skies rung with the sound of amphibian's which made listening for the Whip-poor-wills rather challenging. We would finally hear them which made me very happy because this is a life bird for me, and I don't get them nearly as often as I did last year. As we were leaving, we would hear Whip-poor-wills calling, and an American Woodcock peenting which was one of the loveliest sounds I have heard this year in the evening thus far, but the mood would kind of be ruined by the sound of gunshots being heard at Fort Devens, but I am starting to get used to that noise with all of the birding I am doing at Oxbow lately.
Alan and I would head to Uxbridge this morning looking for the elusive Worm-eating Warbler and once again, we would go through a maze of bike trails and thick woods and never find the area they are supposed to be at but it wouldn't be as bad as earlier this week because we weren't lost and it wasn't raining out. This warbler is now the official nemesis bird for the month of May so we will get back there this weekend as we are now on an official mission as that bird is so cute I just have to see it!
We would then head all the way to the Winamusett WMA hoping for an Alder Flycatcher and we would hear the bird shortly after arriving, but the darn bird would never grace us with its physical presence so we had to settle for 2nd best which was hearing it. As we were leaving we would see a Rose-breasted Grosbeak nearby and the bird was kind enough to sit still while I attempted a photo which has become much appreciated lately.
While we were leaving, we would drive by a farm and I would do my usual STOP! which usually means a bird of interest so imagine Alan's surprise when he sees me ooohing and aahhing over this miniature horse. Sigh, I have seen pictures of these beauties but never seen one with my own two eyes so I was immediately swept away by it. So cute!
Since we were in the area we decided to hit Brookfield in hopes for the Marsh Wens that are known to breed there and we had almost given up hope as we walked along the railroad tracks as the hot sun beamed down at us from above. Just as we got to the ends of the cat tails we would hear them which was great because while I got these wrens last year at the Great Meadows in Concord, I would never have them in Worcester County so this is a new Worcester County bird for me so I left there very happy.

Take care all

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