Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Birding

I'd do some weekend birding here and there the past couple of days in between rain showers with the first stop being Sterling Peat on Saturday with Alan in hopes to get the Blue-winged Teal Peter had reported seeing on Rick's site.  We'd get there fairly early and see Bart's car so we were hoping he'd have some of the luck he's known for and already have his scope on the bird for an easy FOY!

But alas no teal, just the usual shorebirds with the Least Sandpipers trumping the others numbers wise.  Also notice the little river being fed from the main pool of water going into the area that was starting to dry up.

I'd be very happy though when Bart told us there were two Lesser Yellowlegs spotted as this would be a FOY for me.  They would be out in the open here and there too which made for some nice views and behavioral observations.

The local Great Blue Heron flying overhead.

I'd join Alan again early Saturday evening in an attempt for a Black-crowned Night-Heron at Notre Dame Cemetery in Worcester.  We'd get there a little before dusk and I'd be very happy Alan spotted two American Black Ducks nearby as those too would be a FOY.  Shortly after sunset, we'd hear some heron like noise coming from the back of the waters but after waiting forever we'd never get a glimpse of what it was so we'd strike out on the bird.  We'd take a quick drive around the pond and realize the noise could have been coming from anywhere as the area is so vast so I'm really hoping the Night-herons make a visit to Institute Park sometime soon where they're easier to see and are often visible during the day!

I'd make a stop this morning at St Philips in Grafton hoping for a night heron there and after seeing the Great Egret above, the 3 Great Blue Herons and two Green Heron's, I was feeling optimistic.  After spending about 20 minutes doing a careful scan of the waters though, I wouldn't see any but it was nice to see the Egret though.

And now for my ritual "bizarre Sunday photo".  Check out the duck behind the Wood Duck in the picture above.  I'd be doing my scan and see a bunch of Mallards and Wood Ducks all in the same area and the white secondaries on this bird would make me do a double take hoping for a Gadwall.  I'd get a good look at it's head despite the distance and didn't get any Gadwall vibe from it so decided to try and get a photo for further study when I got home.  No matter how hard I tried to turn it into a Gadwall, I couldn't so going with a female Mallard, but it's still interesting none the less.

I'd head on out to the Quag after that and be ticked because the further I went into Sterling, the harder the rain fell.  I decided to get out of my car though and search for the Pied-billed Grebe despite the rain and be very happy to see the bird would show me mercy and be visible and over the spot where Alan and I had one three years ago.  There would also be two Solitary Sandpipers and some Eastern Kingbirds nearby.  I wouldn't even attempt a photo as the grebe was so far out and the rain was falling very hard so decided to keep my camera dry and head back to the car.

And since I was near Sterling Peat I decided to brave the rain to see what was there and I'd be very curious on what the water levels were now with all of the rain we've had this weekend.

The little river filling up the pool

As you can see the river is getting wider.  Despite all the rain, it still appears to be a shorebird haven spot so let's keep our fingers crossed!

Boots would again be a wise decision!

It would start pouring again so decided to put my camera away and head back to the car but had to get a picture of the juve Green Heron above as it was fairly close by!

So while I didn't get any long term birding in, it was still nice to pick up three FOY's over the weekend.  The rain is depressing though as it puts a damper in both birding and hiking and I can only handle being housebound for so long before I start getting antsy so hoping for better weather next weekend!

Take care all.

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