Friday, May 24, 2013

Cattle Egret Bolton Flats & Hooded Warbler-No this isn't the Coast!!

I'd be at work today and keep checking in on the Central Mass Birders Facebook Page thinking all would be quiet before the rain until Joe would post of a Hooded Warbler near his yard and then panic would strike as I'd still have a bunch of stuff to get done at work so whipped through it hoping I could find out more about it and leave early to get the bird.  I'd just about be packed up and ready to leave when Alan would call and I presumed it was to tell me about the warbler.

Me:  Hi
Alan:  Hi
Me:  I know all about the bird and on my way
Alan:  No you don't know the whole story
Me:  (confused and flustered).  What do you mean I saw the post about the Hooded Warbler
Alan:  Well there's a Cattle Egret at Bolton Flats

Suddenly I was overwhelmed with two great birds in the area and me still at work and had my heart set on the Hooded, but we're talking Cattle Egret.

Me:  Well I was just on my way to get the Hooded

Alan:  Well which would you rather have the Cattle Egret or the warbler?

I'd stop to contemplate this for a moment as I've never been asked this before so it required thought as it's like asking me if I'd rather have chocolate cheesecake or a hot fudge sundae and naturally I'd want both!

Me:  The Cattle Egret

Alan:  Okay, if you leave work now I can pick you up and we can try for it.  (Alan knew that would be my response of course as I've talked about a Worcester county Cattle Egret the 1st year I started birding)

I'd leave in a hurry talking to myself about how I'm not chasing birds anymore as it's too stressful and wonder if Jim next door heard the whole conversation and thinks I'm even crazier than when I was swooning in his office over the Barred Owl not letting him get any work done.

I'd arrive home in record time and Alan would pick me and Justin up telling us Bart had found it and called and off we went to try for the Cattle Egret.  The entrance to the parking lot would be flooded but Alan being the trooper that he is plowed right through it as we got out of the car to walk the path and I'd be glad I wore boots as they were needed as you can see in the 1st picture!

Soon enough after much scoping we'd find the bird mixed in with the Canada Geese past the flooded field and on dry land.

Not the best record shots as you can see, but the bird was far out so hoping Alan and Justin have better ones.

Another lousy shot but all of us got excellent looks at it through Alan's scope.

Next it would be off to get me the Hooded Warbler as both Justin and Alan got it earlier and I was feeling left out and not holding out much hope the bird would still be there.  We'd be there for a bit when we could both hear a very loud and metallic chip note and I'd get on a warbler where all I could see was a nice colorful yellow on the body and a lot of white at the tail.  "I think I have it, I'd shout to Alan as we both tried to get a better look at it from the tree tops.  I'd see it fly above my head an could clearly see the black at and around its  throat making me very happy and wishing more warblers were this easy to ID in flight as it isn't the case in most instances with flying warblers!  The bird would show me some mercy and land long enough for me to attempt a record shot.

Swoon!!!!  Not the best picture in the world, but I'll take it as it would be life bird number two for me in one day!

Swoon again!  Sigh, and here I was all thinking last night that it would be a quiet few days with the rain and all but should know better with migration still in full swing.

We'd drive back home and I'd be in awe over the two birds I'd just seen considering we're smack dab in Worcester County and not on the coast as this is the stuff you normally see there and not here. Just a nice reminder that we do get our share of cool birds in our county and why I love birding locally as much as I do.

Take care all.

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