Sunday, April 14, 2013

Birding Sutton and Uxbridge

I'd head out bright and early this morning with my 1st stop being Purgatory Chasm and wanted to get there before the dog walkers and would hear the many Pine Warblers as soon as I stepped out of the car.  I'd stop here in hopes for a Chipping Sparrow and wouldn't hear one but would hear many Dark-eyed Juncos who can fool you so decided to walk Charlie's Loop in hopes of a Hermit Thrush as they breed here so was hoping one made an early arrival.  I'd be in the zone where I was kind of looking down at the ground, just listening to all the birds calling nearby when I thought I heard a vireo and after a few seconds of listening I realized it was my FOY Blue-headed.





Got lousy shaky video but what else is new!  The song is still lovely though and one of my favorites with how sweet sounding it is.

One of the couple of pictures I could manage.

And another showing of its tail and that thin bill it has.

After walking in about a quarter mile or so I'd give up on the Hermit as I would have heard it by then and make my way back to the car and be happy to see a Chipping Sparrow nearby who'd be waiting for me and this too would be a FOY.  Besides this sparrow other birds would be singing including the juncos, Pine Warblers, both species of kinglet and the few hyper Red-breasted Nuthatches which was music to the ears after this long, dreary winter.



More lousy video and this time its of the Chipping Sparrow calling but wanted to share it as you have a Dark-eyed Junco in the back ground doing its trill call which sounds more bell like.  You'll also see me try and get my camera on the Red-breasted Nuthatches that were chasing each other.  I was so hoping I'd get the Pine Warbler to join in too, but it never did.

After that it would be a quick trip to Oakhurst in Sutton for a hopeful American Kestrel as well as one of the Barn Swallows usually across the street. I'd strike out on both but be very happy to get my FOY Savannah Sparrows and have a nice listen to the many Field Sparrows.

Next would be the Uxbridge Community Gardens for the American Kestrel as well as the reported Northern Harrier.  I'd be making my way down the path and hear many Song Sparrows and other chatter coming from the brambles and it wouldn't take long to spot a bird on the ground with the others that caught my eye.

Hmmmmm......Could it be??????

I think it is!

Woot!!!  My FOY White-crowned Sparrow who'd turn out to be a handsome juve!

I'd call Alan at this point to see if he's gotten the bird yet this year and then he'd ask me if I got the Harrier yet which I hadn't.  I'd still be on the phone and then see the Harrier flying low and be all excited telling him to get here as it's around when I realized we'd been cut off and was talking to dead air.

I figured he was on  his way and watched the harrier and even attempted some photos but this was the best I could manage.


It wouldn't be long after this that I'd finally get my FOY American Kestrel who would not only be fairly close but hovering too which is always a treat to watch.
Alan would arrive as we'd scan the vast landscape in hopes for the Harrier again.  After what seemed like forever Alan would shout out he got the bird and sure enough he did.  It would be funny though because I'd look to the sky for the bird and see one and call Red-tailed and he'd say no as it was a definite Harrier as I got all doubtful in my ID skills for screwing that up when I realized Alan was on a different bird than I was with the Red-tailed right above the harrier.  I'd finally see the harrier and then my eyes would be drawn to another hawk high in the sky and call to Alan to get on it as it was a Sharp-shinned Hawk!  I'd be trying to explain where it was and was happy with my bin view as it was a classic sharpie in flight when suddenly it would change its flight style and doubtfulness would set in thinking it may be the Kestrel.  The bird would vanish and I'd tell Alan maybe I had the Kestrel as I'd kick myself for the mis ID as I was feeling rather self conscience especially after yesterday's hawk (which by the way I now think was a female Coops after sleeping on it and looking at the pics again).  Alan would try and make me feel better by telling me both have long tails, are tiny, etc and I'd agree but it still bugged the heck out of me as I was convinced I saw a sharpie.  To add insult to injury the Kestrel would be perched nearby and I couldn't understand how one minute the bird would be flying high and the other perched, but they are quick and what do I know!

And then finally the bird would cut me a break flying lower this time and right past us to confirm it was indeed a Sharp-shinned Hawk!  I'd be so elated I'd start jumping up and down and smiling as if I'd never seen one before but it was because I was right which was much needed at that point to give my still fragile birding ego a boost as I do tend to be hard on myself at times, especially with raptors for some reason.  Looking back on it I've realized a pattern when Alan and I bird and it seems as if whenever we get one raptor we get a bunch which makes things over whelming trying to manage it all, but very rewarding in the end as I'd pick up 3 raptor FOY's and Alan 2!  Do wish there was a Red-shouldered Hawk thrown in there for good measure though but those birds are tough for me for some reason.

I'd make one more stop to the South Main powerlines in hopes the Barn Swallows had arrived and be happy to hear a lone Field Sparrow as well as my FOY Eastern Towhee!  After striking out on the swallows, I'd hear drumming on metal and look up to see this goofy Northern Flicker pecking away!  I would have taken video but my batteries were close to dead so managed this picture instead.

So now I'm home attempting to take care of some much needed housework.  I've been slacking so much around here that I even bought sandwich meat for the 1st time in months telling my son this would probably be dinner from now until the end of May.  He didn't mind one bit though as he missed his Dietz and Watson and I have to admit, so did I.

Take care all.



2 comments:

Dawn Puliafico said...

Hi Kim, when I click on your videos, they both say "Private" and can't be seen.....Dawn

Kim said...

Thanks Dawn, I'll fix it.

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