Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Birding or rather Brrrrrding

I'd get up bright and early this morning and log onto Facebook for something to read with my usual cup of  coffee and be glad to see a post of last nights heavy migration radar with most of it a little to the West of us with only a small pocket through Central MA so once it got light enough out, I'd check my feeders hoping a Fox Sparrow was part of it and made a pit stop for breakfast at my house!  The American Robin would be busy in song along side the Northern Cardinal and the birds of the moment would be Dark-eyed Juncos under the feeders and in my yard and by the time I was done with the count I'd have up to 30 which is the highest number I'd get all year so guessing these birds are starting to make their move north.  I'd do my own weather assessment by looking at the leaves of the Rhododendrons which looked dead and droopy which meant mittens and a hat just in case!

It didn't feel too bad out as the winds were much calmer than yesterday so decided to make my first stop at Lake Singletary to watch the sun continue to rise.  I'd drive into the parking lot and see a brave soul in the middle of the lake already on his boat and to the other side of the lake is where most of the waterfowl was including the two Bufflehead above.  There'd also be a couple Mallards, Hooded Mergs and of course the usual Canada Geese.  I'd have my camera out willing the Bufflhead to get a little closer for better photos and be thrilled to hear a Common Loon coming some where from the lake which would be a first for me here so guessing it decided to stop there for a bit in the midst of heading back to its nesting grounds.

My next stop would be Merrill Pond in Sutton hoping for a Pied-billed Grebe and it wouldn't take long for me to find the many Ring-necked Ducks mixed in with some Mallards and a couple Wood Ducks.  The highlight at this stop would be the drumming sound of a Pileated Woodpecker coming from across the street and I'd remember Alan and I talking to the owner of the house a few years past saying they nested nearby so kept my bins on the trees around his yard and sure enough Id' see it fly over near the lake for a very nice FOY!

Despite getting the Pileated, I'd still go to St Philips to look for Green-winged Teal and a hopeful Rusty Blackbird and would laugh out loud when I saw the Great Blue Herons in the same spot they were at yesterday and the same position.  I'd watch them for a bit as the one to the right was making a half assed attempt of gathering nesting material and realized they hadn't made much progress since I saw them last.

Especially compared to the other couple who already had a base set up!  Pardon the lousy shots but these herons are across from the wetlands which makes decent photos close to impossible with my lousy camera.

Trying it out for size and as you can see it still needs work!

The male decided to come back and I'd catch the two of them "in the act" I believe so I guess the nest is good enough for at least one thing as of now.  :-0.  I'd look over at the other two goofy heron's on the sparce tree and they'd be watching as well so maybe they'll want to "keep up with the Jones's" and get to work!

By now both me hands and feet would be cold so make a stop at the new Dunkin Donuts in Millbury for a Turbo to warm up the toes and fuel the brain!  I'd go to a peaceful place nearby that has a lot of blackbirds and decide to drink my coffee with the windows rolled down and keep my ears open for Rusty's but all that could be heard were the other blackbirds.

I'd be warmed by the coffee so decided to hit Martha Deering for a quick hike in to warm myself up some more and look for the ever elusive Barred Owl and a hopeful early Pine Warbler.  I'd come across a small pocket of birds and hear one that sounded like a Brown Creeper call note to me but get them confused some times with the Golden-crowned Kinglet so out came my Droid to play their call and sure enough out would pop my FOY Brown Creeper to confirm my ears were right for a change!

After a couple of other uneventful stops I'd go to the South Main Powerlines to again check for migrating Rusty's as well as a hopeful Barn Swallow and be dismayed to hear the few Brown-headed Cowbirds doing their Pee-diddy call.  I should also note I heard or saw these birds at EVERY stop I made today which is awful depressing considering their parasitic nature.

I'd make my way to where the Barn Swallow's normally are and would strike out on them, but be rewarded with more Ring-necked Ducks which is always nice.  It would be here that I'd realize again I was cold and the wind was defeating so decided to head home to warm up a bit and check one more time for my Fox Sparrow!  Speaking of which BRB, just to check again of course.

Grrrrrr....Nothing except for a couple of American Goldfinches on my now empty thistle feeders.  Speaking of which has anyone noticed how funny some of them look as they continue to transition between plumage-  check this one out.  HA.

And another lousy photo of the Song Sparrow I have in my yard with the funky molting taken this morning.  I'm convinced he's conspiring with the Fox Sparrows to mess with my head because I can look at him as much as I want with the naked eye from my window but once I get the camera out off he flies for cover (perhaps he doesn't want his picture taken in such a state?)  Anyhow, notice how it appears as if he's got a huge pot belly going on right now.  He doesn't of course as those are his feathers touching the ground.  This bird fascinates me as I don't think I'v ever seen anything quite like it before but based on what I see, it's just molting as he flies well and is eating okay but who knows!

Sigh, so now I sit here looking out my window and seeing and hearing the relentless winds.  I had every intention of going back out there later today but consider it pointless considering there's one thing I've learned in my 4 years of birding and that is birds dislike the wind much as we do so will play it by ear.  Now starts the work week where temps are supposed to get into the 60's which is so not fair I tell ya. All I want is a little hint of spring and guessing I'm not alone.

Take care all.

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