Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rutland St Park (Coldbrook Road), Princeton & Sterling

I decided to head out to Rutland State Park today (Coldbrook Road in particular) in hopes for some target birds I'd like on my list this year.  I'd arrive a little before 6AM and it wouldn't take me long to find some bird activity including a FOY Pileated Woodpecker drumming and calling in a nearby snag hidden by tree cover and a Magnolia Warbler fairly closeby.  I'd get out of my car to try and get a look at them and within 2 minutes I was getting swarmed and bit my mosquitoes.  I'd head to my car for my bug spray and it would be then I'd realize I was SOL as I took my sons car vs. mine and I forgot to take it with me.  There was no way I was going to be able to bird Rutland without spray so off I went to find a Honey Farms for some Off. This tiny can cost me $8.00 with tax.  RIPOFF.  Reminder to self to always be prepared I guess.

I'd shower myself with OFF and head back for more birding and bird song had really picked up with many Black-throated Greens, Red-eyed Vireos, Scarlet Tanagers and one of my favorite songs which would be a FOY Winter Wren.

And of course the always numerous and always vocal Ovenbirds.  Pardon the lousy photo and the ones below this.  I'm finding I still prefer to bird with the bins vs. camera so pictures lately have been record shots if that.  

I'd make a stop at the small pond with the snags to see what was around and it would be here that I'd hear an almost piercing, panicked sound.  In fact, it sounded so sharp I thought perhaps it was an amphibian.  After some scanning with the bins, I'd see who the culprit was and it would be coming from a nearby cavity where a Northern Flicker was entering.  Not sure if it was the Flicker or its begging young, but I didn't see and fledglings begging all I could hear was the piercing sound until the adult flicker entered it so it was rather notable.  Also notable was my FOY Broad-winged Hawk flying overhead as well as a FOY Brown Creeper.

A little further down the road I'd be happy to get my FOY Indigo Bunting.  I'd be even happier that I'd know what it was by its song (this is the 1 bird in the past I just couldn't get no matter how hard I tried so its nice to know when one is making progress sometimes.

But then my inflated ego would soon be deflated as a bird somewhat close to the male Indigo Bunting would leave me scratching my head.  It's not a warbler, vireo, thrush or flycatcher so what the hell is it I'd think.

The bird would be far away so I attempted one of my infamous crappy, faraway record shots none the less.  It would then fly near the male Indigo Bunting so I'd get back to my car and open the Sibley's to see if it would be the female and based on what I saw I'm guessing that's who she is but I could be wrong.

And speaking of flycatchers I'd get my FOY Least as well.  In fact, there'd be quite a few of them all along Coldbrook road.  I'd pish one out for a photo and a look and even that picture would be lousy due to the suns position and my numb fingers as it was still rather frosty out even though it was already close to 8AM.

There would be lots of warblers of course including the MANY American Redstarts as well as a surprising number of Magnolias.  One bird I was happy to hear was the Golden-crowned kinglet in the same exact spot Fran had told Alan and I about two years ago.  It would remind me that even though Fran is gone, he still lives in many of us through his teachings and it's something I'll always be grateful for.

Another thing I'd learn today is that female American Redstarts do indeed sing as the little lady above would be busy in song which was a treat to see.  Bummed to say I bombed on the Nashville and would also bomb on the Louisiana Waterthrush and Blackburnian Warbler once I did some birding by foot in Barre Falls so there's three birds I'll still be on the hunt for as I really want them considering I didn't get any of them last year.

To console myself over my disappointment I decided  to head to Greene Road in Princeton for the Northern Waterthrush and Canada Warbler.  I'd get out of the car and could hear the waterthrush immediately

After a while I'd finally get a good look at it and even manage a fairly decent shot of it singing which are my favorite warbler photos ever.
Wish I could say I had the same camera luck with the Canada.  After some pishing and patience, the lovely male would finally show it's face which is a face I adore with those striking eyes and bold necklace.  I'd finally get my camera on it and go click and the hyper bird would hop to the next branch before I could blink

I'd then get it again and on a bare tree no less and get the perfect photo op.  Than someone would come barelling a** down the street which forced me to run for cover as I was in the middle of the road and this is the photo I'd get.  I NEVER have luck photographing this bird seriously!

It would only be 11AM and was still itching to bird more but realized I was thirsty and also remembered I didn't have my car which holds my water so was kicking myself for being such an airhead and not being prepared.  I forget the two most important things for my survival in the wild for the day, bug spray and water, but of course I didn't forget my three bird guides as if I'd need them all, priorities ya know.

So made a quick stop for some bottled water and I'd also be eyeballing their home made muffin selection and cave and get a banana chocolate chip.  So good and highly recommended if you're ever in the area and need some fuel.

I'd make a stop at kristoff Pig Farm and while there were the regular warblers, it's nothing like it is in fall for the sparrows.  I could have lived there this past September and I still think of my beloved Lincoln's and how much I'm looking  forward to seeing him again. :-p.  Such a lovely bird.

I'd then make a quick stop at Sterling Peat where I'd get my Alder Flycatcher who wasn't very vocal and only wanted to do the first part of his Revere call (that's how it sounds to me).  I'd pish him into view for a good but quick look but then he'd dart into shrub cover.  I'd decide to spent some time looking for the Orchard Oriole and could keep hearing the flycatcher nearby so I'm convinced he was following me!  No oriole though. :-(

While I was happy to have picked up 9 FOY's today, I was bummed about the ones I didn't get so decided to console myself with my favorite thing of all.  Chocolate, not only chocolate but chocolate with ice cream which go together like salt and pepper, and peanut butter and jelly as far as I'm concerned.

Nothing like a very chocolaty ice cream sundae to help a gal forget about her problems and remind her that there's always next time.

Take care all.

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