Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nemesis No More-Black Vultures Millbury!

Signs of spring continue to appear each day including the Turkey Vultures who stage around my house every morning just as I head to work.  I'd see them again yesterday as I went to the dump and kick myself for not bringing my bins but did a quick stop just the same in hopes for a Black Vulture but all that would be around were the usual TV's.  I'd decide to do some local birding nearby this morning and make a quick stop where the vultures hang out and I'd spot my Black Vulture naked eye as soon as I got out of the car.  I'd remember something Alan had told me last year when everyone was getting this bird but me and he told me that I'd know it when I saw it and sure enough he was right as it was unmistakable next to the TV's.

As you can see in tho photo above where the TV looks more like a basketball player and the BV more of a football player when it comes to body composition.  Also notice how flat and glossy the BV's plumage is compared to the TV.  Almost like the BV's use hair get and the TV's go au natural!  ;-)

Another thing I'd quickly pick up on where the white fingers as Alan called them when he sent me his photos of the ones in Barre where again, everyone got the bird but me.  Now that I've gotten the bird I'm glad I never got it in Barre as I've always said that yes I would get it and it would be in Millbury so it was nice to be right for a change!

Feeling lucky I'd continue to Rayburn in hopes for my Barred Owl.  Bird song would be heavy including the Dark-eyed Junco's singing away that almost sounded a little House Wrenesque to me at first which is something I'd never picked up on so made sure I made a mental note of it as it was kind of neat.  I'd strike out on the Barred despite my lousy imitation of one that's worked in the past so it looks as if I'm going to have to hit that spot again as I really want the Barred on my list this year.

Next would be St Philips in Grafton in search of the Wood Ducks and spring would be in the air with many birds a courting including the Northern Flickers above.  How romantic and if I'm not mistaken the plumage on the back of the birds head to the left of the photo above kind of looks like a heart making it even more appropriate!

There would also be a Northern Mockingbird starting to try out some of his imitation songs for the year but would do so in more of a whisper in an attempt to warm up the voice box I'm guessing!  ;-).  The other highlight would be hearing an Eastern Phoebe across the wetlands where I'd get an okay look at it through the bins but not good enough for a photo.

The Eastern Bluebirds would be out in full force as well as my FOY Belted Kingfisher and after what seemed like forever two Wood Ducks who would fly by doing their call before landing in the water close to a pair of Hooded Mergansers which made for a very productive stop.

Last would be Martha Deering back in Millbury in search for the Barred again and bird song would again be heavy with many Red-bellied Woodpeckers like the one above.  The weather would be perfect with a nice gentle breeze and while I didn't get my Barred it was stick a perfect way to spend an Easter morning.

And besides that much has been quiet on the home front.  The birds are all active including the American Robins who now awaken me every morning with their singing right outside my bedroom window and I'm sad to say my thistle feeders are not getting refilled and the feeders put away as the finch conjunctivitis is starting to appear in both my House Finch's and American Goldfinches.  Seeing them in that state makes me depressed and helpless as I hate to see any bird suffer and I know their fate but am glad it happened now instead of the dead of winter when food is even more scarce than now.  I've done a little canning including the Asian Pickled Asparagus I made in the photo above.  I'm now at the stage in my canning where I know the safe food guidelines when it comes to canning so am making up my own recipes including the ones above which has ginger, hot peppers and star anise which makes these pickles very yummy coupled with a sandwich or with a salad.

And some canned pineapple I put up yesterday which are out of this world as I made my syrup with a juice I simmered from the pineapple peels and cores and then added some sugar to it.

All in all a good weekend and way to spend Easter with the Black Vulture being the highlight of the weekend of course.  Hope you all have a wonderful Easter.

Take care all.


Black Cat Gardening said...

Congrats on the vulture sighting!

Dawn Puliafico said...

Wonder what your next nemesis will be......Glad you finally saw the BV. I have never seen one, but really like the side-by-side photo.

Steve Borichevsky said...

It is hard to fathom Black Vultures in New England. I used to see tons in Tennessee, but never in Vermont when I lived there 30 years ago.

Steve Borichevsky said...

We are up to 50 birds in our new yard. This is the first time I've set out feeders since I lived in the mountains of Colorado. We're getting a great deal of American Goldfinches. (We call them the "little piggies" because the belly up to the feeder and pork out.


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