Sunday, November 11, 2012

Forbush Bird Club: Salisbury Beach & Vicinity-Lots of White-winged Crossbills and other Goodies!

I'd head out with Alan today to attend the Fobush Bird Club trip to Salisbury Beach which would be led by Dan and it wouldn't take long for us to realize who the birds of the day would be as flocks of White-winged Crossbills flew overhead.

There'd be flocks on signposts.

Flocks in the sky

Flocks in pine trees

And flocks of birders from all over looking at the flocks of crossbills which seemed to be in every tree around.

And as you can see these active little birds are not at all shy and from what I understand so tame, they even landed on people according to the Massbird Post I read!

On  the ground and flying around!

I can't help to think that mother nature was feeling very creative the day she created crossbills.

The flocks of birds would be so impressive it will be something forever imprinted in my mind and I wish them well on their journey in search for food and shelter.

It wouldn't be just the birds creating an exciting energy around Salisbury this morning but the birders as well who'd be everywhere taking in the crossbill show as well as a reported Black-headed Gull seen near the parking lot to the bathroom so off we went in hopes of seeing it again as we struck out last time and we'd strike out on it again, but were happy to see the Sanderling's, scoters and Red-throated Loons nearby.

Great Black-backed Gull near the bathrooms with its leg tucked in!

After that it would be a quick trip to Joppa Flats to use the facilities and scan the waters.  You so know I couldn't resist buying this Black-capped Chickadee for my niece. This adorable little bird even sings its Phee Bee song when you squeeze it!  So cute!

After that it would be off to Plum Island with Gate One being the first stop.  Birds would be everywhere including the Black-bellied Plovers above.

And this Herring Gull who is still as handsome as ever even in non-breeding plumage   We'd also see many sea ducks including Black and White-winged Scoter and get better looks at them than we ever do at the Wachusett Reservoir.  We'd also get some nice looks at Common Eider and the many Red-throated Loons who'd be fairly close to shore for some killer looks that I haven't been lucky enough to get this year.

Forbush trip members looking at the MANY birds in the water.

And not only would we get the Black-bellied Plover here but an American Golden Plover as well who'd be right on the beach which was crazy to see considering this is generally out of their habitat.

Another bonus would be the American Bittern above.

As well as many dabbling ducks like the Northern Pintails and a life bird for me the Eurasian Wigeon who'd be breath taking with it's buffy forehead and dark rufous head.  There'd also be many American Black Ducks and a nice scope view of some Gadwall's.

A stop at the warden's station would be rewarded with some very nice looks at the Red-tailed Hawk above who'd be flying rather low "Harrier style", before landing on a roof to pose for the camera!

I don't get pictures like this anymore that often due to the problems I still have with my camera when it was broken and fixed so this was very much appreciated!

But the buteo of the day hands down would be this stunning Rough-legged Hawk who would fly directly above our heads for nice views and pictures.  This would be the best look I've ever gotten of this bird flying overhead and would actually make me a tad dizzy upon seeing it!

Our last stop would be Cherry Hill Reservoir in Newbury in search for more ducks.

We'd be greeted by the many Ruddy Ducks as well as Ring-necked Ducks, Common Mergansers, Bufflehead and a lone Pied-billed Grebe.  The sun would already be receding beyond the horizon which reminded us all that despite the temperatures it was indeed November and time to head back home.  On the drive back, I'd re play the day in my mind and realize how much I enjoy going to birding hotspots away from Worcester County occasionally as the energy is contagious.  I'm not one who likes crowds much but there's something about a crowd of birders that  makes me happy.  I believe it's because they feel the same joy as I do when they see a bird so we all share a certain kinship that most in society aren't blessed to realize and we were certainly blessed today.

Take care all.

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