Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Birding, Sutton, Millbury, Westborough

I'd head out bright and early this morning to get some birding in with my 1st stop being Purgatory Chasm as I wanted to get there before all the people.  My main goal was to walk Charlie's Loop with my ears out for a Blackburnian Warbler as I'm convinced if any migrants coming through are going to stop over- it would be here with all of coniferous trees including many Hemlocks.  I'd hear the few Chipping Sparrows and a couple of Pine's and that would be it and would be struck by the lack of birds (especially Ovenbirds).  About 1/2 a mile in the woods would finally come alive with Ovenbirds and a Hermit Thrush and I'd then realize the reason I didn't hear them is because I  was up before the birds!  Highlights here would be one lone Black-throated Blue and a Yellow-throated Vireo. Did find it odd there were no Black-throated Greens and can't help feeling migration is very odd this year as all I'm getting are "one offs" with no consistencies day after day.

Next would be Brierly hoping for the Scarlet Tanager and I'd be rewarded with my FOY House Wren as soon as I stepped out of the car and it would be coming from someones house nearby.

Warbler activity here would be moderate with quite a few Yellow-rumped Warblers and the always reliable Black-and-white as well as my FOY Common Yellowthroat (should note this would be the only place I'd get one all day which is again odd).

I'd be making my way down the path near the waters edge and would be in awe at how much the habitat has changed since the beavers created ponds in areas they never were before.  I'd get really nice look at two Wood Ducks and then be shocked to see my first ever Green Heron here as I'd never expect to get one at Brierly but I did!!

I'd do a quick stop at St Philips in Grafton hoping for a Great Egret (no) and then go to Tufts Fields in Westborough and wasn't going to leave until I got my Eastern Meadowlark.

There'd be nice bird activity here including many Red-winged Blackbirds, Savannah Sparrows and Warbling Vireos and the Tree Swallows flying about with their swallow chatter.

I'd witness a familiar scene between them and the Eastern Bluebirds as both fought over who was going to win the box this year and I was betting on the Tree Swallows as they always seem to win given the Bluebirds timid nature in comparison to the later.  After about 10 minutes or so I'd also hear the Bobolinks Nick had mid last week.

And then what seemed like forever, I'd finally get my Eastern Meadowlark singing nearby which was music to my ears and a very sweet FOY.  I had a weekend goal of 15 FOY's and this would be it so could have packed up and gone home but decided to hit Big Chauncey considering it was still early and didn't feel like going home yet so off I went.  I'd get out of the car and hear a bird that sounded like a Yellow Warbler and finished with a Chestnut sided and that's how I remember the American Redstart and it wouldn't take long for me to find it.

Always so tame and always so pretty.

I'd watch it for a while and had to laugh at the interaction between this warbler and  a Yellow Warbler in particular as the Yellow didn't like the Redstart near it's turf and would spend most of its time chasing the Redstart away.

Eastern Kingbirds would be here as well as the MANY Yellow-rumped Warblers who'd be the bird of the day yet again so don't know what it is about Chauncey, but they seem to love it.

The second bird of the day numbers wise would the few Warbling Vireos including the one above.  The sun washed out this already washed out looking bird as you can see.

The last bird photo I got was of this drake Ring-necked Duck above.  I'd see it and get all worried as its probably the same one I had last time I was here and was worried about it then and ever more so now with how late it is in the season for them.  According to Nick though these birds have been known to stick around until Mid May so felt much better considering I'm growing fond of this duck and am hoping he's okay.

Now back to work and hoping for better migration next weekend.  I'm not doing bad bird wise, but I'm so yearning for the morning the woods are alive with warblers, thrushes and sunshine all at the same time and after the winter we just had it can't come soon enough for me.

Take care all.

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