After an awful week with work deadlines and responsibilities at home, I was looking forward to getting some birding in this morning with Alan with our first stop being Upton for the reported Louisiana Waterthrush spotted by both Nick and Justin the past week or so. We'd get to the spot Justin told us it would be and be perplexed over the tiny trail of water coming from the nearby brook as it looked more Northern Waterthrush habitat vs. Louisiana.
And after only a few minutes it wouldn't take long to find the Louisiana which made for the easiest of this bird we've ever gotten, but the habitat still continues to perplex me.
After that we'd head back to Millbury and to Brierly in hopes for my FOY Black-and-white Warbler as well as an early Northern Parula which would be a FOY for both of us. There'd be quite a few Yellow-rumped Warblers here which once again messed with my head with it's song as well as a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Soon enough we'd get to the spot the B&W's normally are and sure enough we'd get it! It would be this area I'd hear a bird nearby that sounded like either a Warbling Vireo or Purple Finch to me and after a little patience we'd be rewarded with the bird in question.
And that bird would turn our to be a female Purple Finch. Love this photo as it makes the bird look as if it got jipped of its tail! It would be here I'd think of Fran and the first year I started birding and I'd hear a Warbling Vireo at Oxbow and wanted to call it, but didn't have the confidence as I got the vireo mixed up with the House Finch all the time. For the rest of the trip whenever we heard the vireo Fran would ask me what it was and I'd be right which helped me in my confidence. I think he'd be rather pleased with my progression and think he had a lot to do with it! It would also be here we'd get a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher as well as a bird sounding an awful lot like a Northern Parula.
And sure enough that's exactly what it was. The shot isn't the best obviously but we're talking warblers here and I was happy to see it without the leaves that will be our nemesis in the next week or so!
We'd both call it a day to take care of things on the home front and it wouldn't take long for us to reconnect again via the cell phone after Steve Arena's post on MassBird regarding the Northern Lapwing he found at Bolton Flats!
House tasks could wait as he picked me up as we headed there hoping the bird was still in the area. Our confidence would be boosted when I sent a Facebook email to Jessica and sure enough she was on the bird with Justin and his family.
We'd see them heading back from the path toward their cars and they all saw the bird but a Red-tailed Hawk flushed it back to the marshes and out of view. Doh!
There'd be quite a few birders already there hoping for better views of the lapwing which seemed quite happy wherever it was which was not close to us. This would give all of us the chance to do some other birding while waiting for the birds return including quite a few raptors like the Cooper's Hawk dot in the photo above!
As well as a couple of Black-capped Chickadees being absolutely adorable as they gathered nesting materials nearby. Swoon! Alan and I would stick around for close to 2 hours and never get the bird so hoping it decides to stick around as I really want this bird! It may sound corny but I had no desire to try for the lapwing this past winter as I pegged it as a "goner" with the winter and chasing birds that don't have much of a chance for survival always makes me feel sad even if it's a bird to add to my life list. This one has a chance which makes the bird even more special-especially since it's Worcester County of course. Let's cross our fingers that it's not just a "one day wonder"!