As soon as we arrived the rain would start which was a blow to the stomach as it was nice out the entire day while I was slaving over the floors so wouldn't you know the rain would wait until I got outside to release its wrath.
We played the tape a few times over the course of about 20 minutes or so and wouldn't hear anything in return. While we never got to see the Moorhen, we both SAW AND HEARD the American Bittern which was such the treat. The bird was pumping rather closely and after a while would fly off to another part of the marshes which allowed us a really good look at it and it was awesome. We would be scanning the mud flats for shorebirds where we saw both a Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs as well as one Least Sandpiper when suddenly we would both hear "Cowcat"coming somewhere in the area of the flats which would be none other than a Ring-necked Pheasant LIFER!! :-p. HA, Alan and I have had a joke going around regarding me getting the pheasant as many people question whether or not these birds are considered countable considering many are raised and released for hunting but it's still countable on eBird and I am trying to get well above my record of 171 last year in total so I will take what I can get at this point. So funny to finally get it though because it's been one bird I haven't wanted to get passionately because you know I will have it on eBird as my last bird saw due to the fact that the FOY birds have been tougher to get now that migration is almost over with and I already have most of the breeding birds out there.
Anyhow, the picture above is one of three Virgina Rails we would see as we were walking back to the car. They would be in the path as well, but just a little further away from us so I just had to take out my camera for an attempted picture, despite the rain that was falling fairly heavily at the time.
Not sure how much birding I will due tomorrow due to more work I need to do around the house, but will get out there bright and early tomorrow with Alan for our first day of Operation Black Vulture. What is Operation Black Vulture you ask???? Well allow me to tell you!!!!
You see, I was at my computer this afternoon, feeling really good about myself as my windows sparkled and my house smelled of Lysol when suddenly I would get an email from Alan and all it would say was Black Vulture in a huge font and nothing else. I would sit there for a moment staring at the heading and afraid to click it, due to the fact that I didn't go to the Forbush Field Trip today because I REALLY needed to get this housework done as it couldn't wait any longer. I would stare at the email and picture opening it with Alan's breathless email on how all members of the club who attended the trip had this gorgeous Black Vulture teed up in a tree and how everyone got killer looks at it and even some cool photos which he would include of course, just to torture me more. "Mom, my kids suddenly cried in protest, are you going to get off of that computer and help us in the kitchen". "Just a minute, I replied back as I clicked my reply to Alan which would consist of "What, Where????. The smell on Lysol that once smelled so appealing to me suddenly made me nauseous as I kicked myself for deciding to spend one day being a domestic goddess vs. bush whacking the woods covered in Off looking for birds. After a long torturous wait, Alan would finally email me back saying that Bart saw a Black Vulture at the Millbury Bike Path before Alan would get there so he would be looking for it tomorrow morning of course as it appeared to have lifted off with the Turkey Vultures in the morning who roost somewhat close to my house.
What is funny about this is I was just telling Alan about a month ago that I had a gut feeling we would see a Black Vulture this year in Central Massachusetts and we would get one in Millbury no less, but it was more like wishful thinking in a way as we do that often while driving when we are thinking of what the next bird will be that we will get to get our lists higher (yes we are that dorky). So with that said, Alan and I are going to be camping out around the bike path every morning when the vultures all lift off, hoping to see that Black Vulture Bart was fortunate enough to see. And while we are on the subject of Bart, does anyone notice he gets all of the good birds. A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher while watching for hawks, a Black Tern at Gate 40 and now a Black Vulture at the bike path after Alan and I have spent months scanning the skies in this town for one! Not fair I tell ya, totally not fair!!! ;-).
I will let you know how we all do.
Take care all.