Monday, August 27, 2012
I'd head home after that and do some light housework and then relax and watch a movie and then see a phone call from Kevin coming in and I knew that could only mean one thing. A VERY SOUGHT AFTER BIRD! I'd call him back as I missed his original call and he'd casually tell me he got 7 Red-necked Phalaropes at Wachusett Reservoir! I'd be in my jammies at this point as it was just that kind of day but got dressed really quick and called Alan as Kevin had called him too and Alan was heading out there too (he had the roof off to his shed as he was rebuilding it, but hell for a bird as awesome as this the roof could wait!) so off we went. He'd be driving as I was looking at photos of the Phalarope on my Droid being an optimist but Alan had his doubts considering Kevin had them feeding with the gulls and then they all took off.
We'd make it to Gate 36 and be dismayed to see the entire area is now blocked off due to tree cutting (hoping its done before the Pipits come back!). We'd take turns scanning with the scope as Alan told me some things I should know about the Phalarope in flight including the fact that the bird is roughly the size of a Robin and it would be then I'd realize why Alan was pessimistic as how the hell can you find birds the size of Robins flying over the Wachusett Reservoir when the viewing area is roped off seriously! It's like finding a needle in a haystack when you think about it............
Oh well......This would be the first weekend in close to a month I wouldn't pick up any First of the Years but decided to lay low on Sunday as fall migration will be here soon enough and then I'll be birding like mad so took the time to just relax and chill. Yes I'm looking forward to the ducks of course and would love to pick up a Tennessee Warbler and still need a Palm Warbler this year but the thing I'm looking forward to the most are sparrows.
With my favorite little friend the Lincoln's Sparrow being top of the list which remains one of my favorite birds of all time so am eagerly awaiting their arrival.
Take care all.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
And speaking of reports, I'd notice a continuing trend on the New England listserv's for the number of Red-breasted Nuthatches being recorded recently. It's something I've notice myself the past two weeks as I've gotten this bird at both Sterling Peat and Notre Dame during that time so was wondering if others were having the same success and based on what I'm seeing, they are.
And CT which I thought was an interesting post. I'm especially interested in watching reports of Red Crossbills as I've been seeing more reports of it being seen so hoping to get this life bird in Worcester County this year. I've attached a link to a PDF documents that talks about Northern Irruption boreal birds and thought the correlation between Red-breasted Nuthatches and White-winged Crossbills was interesting.
So being curious and all I decided to do some analysis via eBird to see if it could tell me anything.
And finally Worcester County which makes no sense to me so I won't even attempt to explain it but note that perhaps there isn't enough checklists submitted overall to make this data explainable.
So to make a long story short, keep your eyes and ears out for Red-breasted Nuthatches this fall and winter, especially your feeders. It will also be interesting to see the numbers for the CBC's as Red-breasted Nuthatch's are always welcome birds during them considering how sporadic they can be count wise.
Take care all.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
We'd make our way to the area the Cliff Swallows were last reported and see two Solitary Sandpipers fly in close which was nice to get a good look at them with just the bins.
And my best photo of them all (same as my cover photo) but wanted to post it again as I loved how I got all of it's field marks in the shot including the white that can be found as the base of the primaries, the throat and end of the tail.
And in between looking at the nighthawks, shorebirds and herons, we'd keep our eyes to the skies and snags for swallows where we'd see plenty of Barn Swallows, a handful of Tree Swallows but no Cliff Swallows.
Years Past. I'd also be bummed about not being able to get out there to try for the American Golden Plover as I was out straight with work this morning so couldn't get out of the office to try for it so was hoping Alan would get it in the afternoon when I could have taken a late lunch to try for it as it's a bird I just have to see but sadly it wasn't around of visible when Alan tried for it. I often look through my bird guide the way many women look at shoe catalogs and ooh and ahh, but I do it with birds instead of shoes and everytime I see this bird my heart skips a beat and my breath pauses to take in its beauty so it's another bird I've been dying to see since I got my first Peterson guide in late 2008, but alas not this time I'm afraid so hoping for a storm to increase the probability! ;-)
Take care all.
Monday, August 20, 2012
I'd be at that spot for a full 40 minutes before I could hear one and be happy to get my bins on it for confirmation as it was getting pretty dark by then so didn't even bother taking a picture. Seriously the hardest BCNH I've ever gotten considering I tried a few times this past week and the view I got of it wasn't nearly as good as what I'm used to so hoping they still show up at Institute Park for some much wanted photos.
On Sunday Alan and I would decide to bird some local spots with Brierly Pond being stop number one.
After that it would be a quick stop along Wachusett Reservoir hoping for a Black Tern or Bonaparte's Gull (I'm searching for a FOY Worcester County Herring Gull too believe it or not). Sadly all would be quiet and the only gulls we'd get yet again were the Ring-billed Gulls right along side the Double-crested Cormorants.
Dawn (be sure to check out her blog!) and explore various spots along the water and be very happy to count at least five Green Heron's which is a record number for me as the most I've ever gotten here were two I believe. There would also be the regulars including the family of Mute Swan's, the Great Blue Herons and the Mallards and Wood Ducks of course.
Take care all.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
I'd drive up to the spot and be very happy to see quite a few vultures perched up in the dead trees and really thought today would be my lucky day! I'd open my bag, grab my camera for records shots and then my binoculars and be mortified to realize the bins weren't in the bag. I'd look under car seats and the glove compartment in a frenzy realizing I forgot them at home which is a nightmare to birders, especially when one is birding for a bird one has never seen before! I'd get out of my car and reassure myself that all was not lost because I still had my camera which wasn't so bad considering I spent almost the first year birding binocular free using only my camera so it would be just like old times! :-p
I'd continue along the line and laugh at a couple of them as they'd open their wings when I got to them in an attempt to make it easier for me I believe. ;-)
So once again I'd strike out on the BV's but for all I know they could have been nearby and I was unable to see them considering I didn't have my bins!
So off I went home to download my photos onto the computer to see how they came out. It would be then I'd remember Alan sent me some of his pictures of his BV's. so figured I'd get those out to and do some of my own "holistic birding" in the comforts of home with a hot cup of tea!
Picture by Alan Marble
First my favorite photo as not only is the photo a closeup to allow you to see the color differences between the TV on the left and the BV on the right, but also the difference in tail size as well. Also notice the white in the wingtips of the BV that are usually not visible on one that is perched which makes this picture even cooler!
Picture by Alan Marble
Another nice shot which allows you to see the difference in the shapes of the two birds as well. Notice how much more compact and stocky the BV (on the right) is to the TV (to the left). Also notice the almost triangle tail of the BV.
Photo by Alan Marble
So while I didn't get my nemesis yet again, I at least got in some Vulture 101 which will better prepare me for the next time and I'll be sure to bring my binoculars too which would help!
Take care all.