Thursday, July 19, 2012

Powerline Birding with a new way to geek out!

I was in a major funk today so decided to take a 1/2 day of PTO and get outside now that the humidity has lessened.  I decided to stay local and hit a couple of my eBird patches considering I've been neglecting them so off I went.  The first section would be the powerlines and woods I found that Barred Owl earlier in the month.  I'd also be curious on what the extent of the logging was and would be very happy it was limited, and only one small scrubby area (but I do wonder what was nesting in there though :-(  )

With it being mid day the place would be dead and besides a Towhee and Common Yellowthroats, the only thing of interest would be some very vocal House Wrens like the one above.

And a Helicopter flying overhead.  Yes it was that slow!  HA

Another reason I wanted to explore my patches is because I'm now mapping my data from my Garmin onto the computer to look at the mapping and really wanted to see what my patches looked like in conjunction with my eBird submissions.

Totally loving the mapping ability because it shows the areas I covered and which ones I didn't.  Couple that with your eBird list and you have some pretty nifty data to geek out on.  Would love to see what my resting time would be during migration when I do more stopping than I do walking.  ;-)

Rayburn Powerlines/Woods, Worcester, US-MA
Jul 19, 2012 1:00 PM - 1:34 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.6 mile(s)
14 species

Downy Woodpecker  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
Blue Jay  2
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Tufted Titmouse  3
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Wren  5
American Robin  2
Gray Catbird  2
Cedar Waxwing  4
Common Yellowthroat  1
Eastern Towhee  1
Song Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  1

Next it would be off to South Main Street, figuring I'd get more birds as that is the birdiest powerline in Millbury so off I went.

Bird activity would once again be light but it was still nice just go get out and walk which is perfect therapy when in a funk.

I did find this cool butterfly/moth? though.  Next year I'm getting a butterfly guide because I never have any luck with google when it comes to insects.  ETA:  Alan was nice enough to email me the name and this would be a Common Buckeye.  A real beauty and was happy it stayed still for me considering all the others were camera shy!  Thanks Alan.

I'd be walking along and could hear some bird activity in a shrub so pished it out and suddenly a Gray Catbird would come out of nowhere scolding as if I were murdering it.

This caused a couple of Eastern Kingbird and Towhee to come out of nowhere across the path.

As well as a  flock of Red-winged Blackbirds which just goes to show you there is never such a thing as "no birds around", it's just that they're hiding that's all.

At about mile 2.5 or so I'd come across a pocket of birds which is rare this time of the year so I stopped to have a look.  I'd see an Eastern Towhee as well as a juve (co cute!). a few House Finch's, 3 Field Sparrows and one lone Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

As well as a very odd looking Eastern Kingbird perched up on a powerline.

I'd soon find out why it looked so odd when a parent would fly over to feed it which made for a very nice "aw" moment!

What's most striking about these two birds side by side is the size comparison which is wild.  I've really grown fond of kingbirds this year and found them fascinating to watch when they perch, flycatch over water or just fly as they remind me of the Peanuts characters when they run which is how I can pick up on them when they are far away in flight.

As I was leaving there'd be another kingbird in flight and that Ruby-throated Hummingbird from earlier would be attacking it which was real funny to see.

There'd also be a Rose-breasted Grosbeak nearby as well as a Scarlet Tanager in the woods singing.

Very pretty flower I'd never noticed on a powerline before.  Don't know what it is, but it's striking.

I'd get in a little over 3 miles here and enjoyed every minute of it as I was out of my funk by the time I got back to the car.

Loving the mapping with the birding because it tells you so much.  The dip to the right near 122a is where I found that pocket of birds so I decided to explore more so now I'll know exactly where to go next time I get over there which probably won't be for at least another month the way I'm neglecting my blocks but its not like there's any birds around so no harm done!  ;-)

Millbury, South Main St Powerline, Worcester, US-MA
Jul 19, 2012 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.3 mile(s)
27 species

Wood Duck  3
Great Blue Heron  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Eastern Kingbird  7
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Blue Jay  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  2
Wood Thrush  1
American Robin  4
Gray Catbird  3
Cedar Waxwing  3
Common Yellowthroat  3
Field Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  2
Scarlet Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal  2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1
Red-winged Blackbird  5
Common Grackle  2
House Finch  4
American Goldfinch  2

I'd get home starving after all that walking and have some of my blueberry cobbler with ice cream which hit the spot.  Its not nearly as hot as earlier in the week but birding and walking the powerlines can be brutal with no tree cover.  On the plus side there'd be hardly any bugs which was nice for a change.

Take care all.

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